Source: Daily Bhaskar
In the cacophony of the debate between communalism and secularism we have forgotten a crucial element that binds all together- Our Diversity.
India is one of the most diverse lands found anywhere else in the world. From language to dressing-style, the country has been hailed as one of the most complex amalgamation of various cultural identities.
The large number of different cultures, knitted together in such a close and perfect manner, make India’s diversity one of the wonders of the world.
It is time to put a lid on the infamous communal versus secular debate and celebrate the diversity our beloved country has to offer.
India is also known by the name of land of many religions.
It is the birthplace of four major religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. It also has the second highest population of Muslims in the world, next only to Indonesia. India also has the third largest Shia population in the world and is considered as the cradle of Ahmadiyya Islam. It is one of the very few countries in the world with at least One million Ahmadi Muslims.
Zoroastrianism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India, and each has several thousands of Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism (i.e. Parsis and Iranis) and Bahá’í Faith in the world, even though these religions are not native to India. Many other world religions also have a relationship with Indian spirituality, such as the Baha’i faith which recognises Buddha and Krishna as manifestations of the God Almighty.
According to Census of India-
At the census 2001, out of 1028 million population, little over 827 million (80.5%) have returned themselves as followers of Hindu religion, 138 million (13.4%) as Muslims or the followers of Islam, 24 million (2.3%) as Christians, 19 million (1.9%) as Sikh, 8 million (0.80%) as Buddhists and 4 million (0.4%) are Jain.
There are close to 111 various dance forms in the country.
Don’t believe us?
Well, here is the list-
Kuchipudi, Kolattam, Bardo Chham, Bihu dance, Jumur Nach, Bagurumba, Ali Ai Ligang, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Dashavatara, Dekhni, Dhalo, Dhangar, Fugdi, Ghodemodni, Goff, Jagar, Kunbi, Mando, Muslam Khel, Perni Jagar, Ranamale, Romta Mel, Divlyan Nach(Lamp dance), Veerabhadra, Garba, Padhar, Raas, Tippani Dance, Kinnauri Nati, Namgen, Yakshagana, Bayalata, Dollu Kunitha, Veeragaase dance, Dumhal, Lava, Tertali, Charkula, Jawara, Matki Dance, Phulpati Dance, Grida Dance, Maanch, Gaur Maria Dance, Lavni, Dhangri Gaja, Povadas, Koli, Tamasha, Dindi, Kala, Dangi, Thang Ta, Dhol cholom, Cheraw Dance, Chang Lo or Sua Lua, Ghumura Dance, Ruk Mar Nacha (& Chhau dance), Goti Pua, Nacnī, Odissi, Danda Nacha, Baagh Naach or Tiger Dance, Dalkhai, Dhap, Ghumra, Karma Naach, Keisabadi, Garadi, Bhangra, Giddha, Malwai Giddha, Jhumar, Karthi, Kikkli, Sammi, Dandass, Ludi, Jindua, Ghoomar, Kalbelia, Bhavai, Tera tali, Chirami, Gair, Singhi Chham, Bharatanatyam, Kamandi or Kaman Pandigai, Devarattam, Kummi, Kolattam, Karagattam or Karagam, Mayil Attam or Peacock dance, Paampu attam or Snake Dance, Oyilattam, Puliyattam, Poikal Kudirai Attam, Bommalattam, Theru Koothu, Hojagiri, Gambhira, Kalikapatadi, Nacnī, Alkap, Domni, Ghoomar, Koli, Padayani, Kathak
Apart from these 111 dance forms there are several other unofficial dance forms in various parts of the country.
India is one of the most multi-lingual places in the entire world.
According to 2011 census of India, there were close to 1,635 languages being spoken across the length and breadth of the country. Majority of these languages can be identified as dialects.
India has 22 officially recognized languages, in addition to 2,000 different dialects.
According to a People’s Linguistic Survey of India, conducted over a duration of 4 years by 3,000 volunteers and staff of Bhasha Research & Publication Centre has concluded that close to 220 languages have disappeared in the last 50 years.
The big six languages – Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu – are each spoken by more than 50 million people; 122 languages are each spoken by more than 10,000 people.
The survey also clarified the conflict over the exact number of languages in India. It speculates that there are close to 900 living languages in the country.
The high number of Indian languages belong to four of the world’s major language groups, these are- Indo-European, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman.
India has the second highest population in the world, next to China. The Indian sub-continent is not inhabited by people from single ethnicity, but has seen a series of migrations from all
across the globe.
There are many different ethnic groups who have migrated to India over the course of centuries. The 6 main ethnic groups are- Negrito,
India can be divided into five physiographic regions. They are-
1. The Northern Mountains
2. Indo Gangetic Plains
3. The Peninsular Plateau
4. Thar Desert
5. The Coastal Plains
Politically India has 29 states and 7 Union Territories. Each of these states has its own cultural identity. So, in other words, the Union of India is an amalgamation of 29 different cultures.
India is home to one of the wettest, coldest and humid places in the entire globe.
If Cheerapunji is known for its incessant rainfall, Siachen Glaciers are known for their horrifyingly low temperatures.
Himalayans, the highest mountain range in the world, in the north, flanked by an arid desert in the west, surrounded by Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the south and home to three of the world’s major rivers- the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Indus- India offers one of the most vibrant and unique climatic atmosphere.
The landscape is further augmented by the cluster of islands in the form of The Andaman and Nicobar Island and the Lakshadweep.