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Sociology | Class 12 | The Challenges of Cultural Diversity


You will discover some of the conflicts and challenges brought on by cultural variety in this chapter. What does "cultural diversity" actually entail, and why is it a problem?

The word "diversity" places more focus on differences than on unfairness. When we refer to India as a country with a rich cultural diversity, we are referring to the wide variety of social groupings and cultures that call India home.


Communities can be identified by cultural traits including language, religion, sect, race, or caste.

Conflict or competition between these distinct communities may arise when they are also a part of a larger entity, such as a nation.

The challenges stem from the strength of cultural identities, which can stir up strong emotions and frequently compel big crowds of individuals.

This complicates matters further because economic and social inequality can occasionally coexist with cultural disparities.

Measures to remedy injustices or disparities experienced by one community may be met with resistance from other communities.

When limited resources, such as river waters, jobs, or government cash, must be shared, the situation gets worse.

Community Identity

Community identification is not based on any kind of acquired credentials or "accomplishment," but rather on birth and "belonging." Instead of what we have "become," it is what we "are." No one has any control over the family, community, or nation they are born into, thus we don't have to do anything to belong to one.

The fact that ascriptive identities and community emotions are universal—present in every religion and nation—in terms of mother tongue or culture, values, beliefs, etc.—is another characteristic of these concepts.

You come to appreciate them since community identity is typically given status. You have no choice but to choose all of these, and once you fall in love with them, no one can object.

Although it can be done, it is quite individualised.

Rarely does one nation or group admit they are in the wrong when two nations or groups are at odds. even when either one is incorrect or both are.

Communities, Nation, Nation State


A nation is a sizable group of people with its own territory, people, government, and sovereignty (autocracies power)

The desire to belong to the same political collectivity is shared by all citizens of a country. The aim to establish a state is typically how this yearning for political unification manifests itself.

There are many countries that have no common language, religion, race, or other characteristics.

On the other hand, numerous races, faiths, and languages are shared by many different countries.


The term "state" is used to describe an abstract entity that is made up of a number of political and legal institutions that assert power over a specific physical territory and the inhabitants of it.

A state is defined as "a body that successfully claims a monopoly of legitimate power in a given territory" by Max Weber.

A group that is successful in asserting itself as a legal power in a certain region is known as a state.

Colonial Rule and nation-state

After its split, India became a distinct nation state in 1947.

In order to create the nation state of Pakistan, state states Bangladesh and Pakistan joined forces.

Bangladesh and Pakistan split up due of administrative difficulties.

Another issue was that Bangladesh's official language is Bangla, which made it difficult for Pakistan to choose Urdu as its national tongue.

USSR-Union of Soviet Socialist Republic

It was a country state with numerous neighbouring nations, each with its own culture and state nation, but because the government was counted, the people had no voice.

It collapsed in 1991.

Duel Citizenship of Israeli’s in USA

Only in the US have these Jews received citizenship (only if bom and brought up).

They are the only ones who can obtain dual citizenship.

Policies (India follows both)

Policy of Assimilation

when everyone chooses to adhere to a single standard, tenet, culture, and value.

Because they are more powerful, the majority is followed by the entire nation.

For instance, Hindus make up the majority in India, where there are many more festivals than there are for Christians. e.g., Parsis

Policy of Integration

All people maintain all non-material cultures in their private lives while adhering to national culture or patterns in public.

For instance, Vande Mataram is not national anthem, although Jana Gana Mana is.

The already established nations perceive them as potentially hazardous adversaries since community identities might serve as the foundation for country building. For instance, the Sikh population in Khalistan desired its own homeland.

Therefore, in order to have unity and togetherness, states tend to favour a single, uniform national identity.

However, this does not imply that we should stifle the identity of the minority because doing so could spark uprisings and prevent unification.

Suppressing the non-national culture of minorities or smaller groups can cause issues and, rather than bringing the nation together, cause division.

Therefore, in order to promote peace and harmony throughout the nation, the government permits people to maintain their cultural variations.

Overview of the differences in our Country

The majority of people in our nation are Muslims (after Indonesia and Pakistan)

In India, secularism is upheld by allowing others to profess, practise, and propagate their respective religions. Reservations are made for minorities.


India has 1632 official languages.

there are 18 official ones (Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, English, Punjabi, Urdu)

All government documents must be written in either Hindi or English, with the exception of the constitution, which is in English.

There are many laws and policies, but their application and enforcement are problematic.

Both a nation and a state are crucial, but because they are interconnected, one cannot survive without the other.

India is a good nation-state despite its diversity and issues; because of our tolerance and unity, we coexist in peace and harmony.


The variety of cultures, languages, regions, castes, and tribes existent in our country is related to regionalism.

Language played a role in preserving India's unity.

We made the decision to adopt the British model of leading presidency after gaining independence.

People in the princely states of Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta spoke Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada (different languages under one state).

Language is a unifying factor that would promote effective communication, unification, state boards (for educational purposes), and linguism might disseminate love for language. Under Nehru, the country was divided along linguistic lines (he was initially hesitant, but later thought the move was beneficial).

the division of the Madras Presidency into three states.

Telugu people were dissatisfied when the Madras state was created because Tamilians were given more significant positions and became dominating.

So they resisted for a separate state.

Potti Sriramulu went on a hunger strike to demand a separate state for Telugu speakers.

Following his passing, protests persisted, and in 1956 the government granted them Andhra Pradesh.

The Telegu people had a choice of moving to Andhra Pradesh or remaining in the Madras state.

proved to be quite effective because language serves as a powerful unifying force, yet regional disparities can still exist.

Sri Lanka

Tamilians desired to be treated equally with Sinhalas (the main language and official parliamentary administration).

In an effort to aid the populace, the LTTE was founded.

This resulted in Rajiv Gandhi's murder.


Majority and Minority

  • Religion and majority and minority are related in sociology.

  • Any religion's minorities are those who are numerically smaller than the majorities.

  • Hindus make up the majority in India (81%)

Inclusive Nationalism

  • when all religions cooperate for the common good of the nation, creating unity in diversity.

  • Although it acknowledges fanaticism and variety, we still come together.

  • We work to eliminate discrimination and establish a democratic system.

Exclusive nationalism

  • When each faith follows what, in their eyes, is best for the nation.

  • The best approach for the nation to be progressive is to include inclusive thinking where all societal segments (including minorities) are taken care of in the constitution.

  • When writing the constitution, the Constituent Assembly made an effort to include social, political, and economic fairness.

Features of Minority

  • Their numbers are smaller, and their needs are not met.

  • They don't often have a say in decisions.

  • When compared to the majority, they have fewer or lower opportunities.

  • Minorities frequently face discrimination.

  • They are concerned about feeling insecure and believe that being a smaller group puts them at a disadvantage.

  • All minorities feel a sense of unity and collective belonging, and they constantly stick together to defend their rights.

  • They feel a sense of allegiance to their country.

  • Communities like Jains and Parsis have strong economies (businessmen), but their cultures and social structures are lacking. For instance, whereas there are numerous holidays for Hindus, Bohras, and Vohras, there are none for Parsi and Jains.

Policies and Minorities

  • Political parties have an easy time converting an electoral victory into political power.

  • Minorities are unpredictable and at risk.

  • A "minority block" is created as a result.

  • They occasionally have to compromise their identities in order to keep their job.

  • Each and every religion is free to practise, preach, and express their faith.

  • The minorities are protected under Articles 29 and 30.

Provisions of Article 30

An educational institution may be established by any religious group.

Minorities should have access to all amenities that are provided to other majorities.

No one should have their faith forced upon them because it will undermine national harmony.

Every nation has a minority population; in Europe, however, Christians make up the majority while Jews, Sikhs, and other minorities are Hindus.


Because of your intense devotion to your religion, you hold all others in low regard.

Westerners define communalism as a group of individuals who work together to accomplish a common goal.

Politicians in India employ vote banks in the name of religion, therefore communalism has more to do with politics than religion. For religion, seats are provided.

India is diversified because communalism is a problem wherever there are more people and diversity.

Communalism, a violent political philosophy entwined with a particular faith. love for your faith, but in a bad manner.

A communalist forms an aggressive political identity that condenses all other religions and causes riots within their own community.

One community seeks retribution for wrongs committed against another community in the past.

to restore lost pride or to defend their neighbourhood.

During riots, there is constant violence, death, destruction of the poor, assault, looting, and rape.

Every time there is a riot within the community, the ruling party must accept responsibility and should defend the victims.


  • Indian Meaning: Every person has the right to freely practise, preach, and proclaim any religion of their choice. All religions should also be given equal weight.

  • Western Interpretation: The church used to rule the state. When the state and the religion are not intertwined, the term "secular" is employed. The church is not permitted to get involved in political issues.

Although secularisation progressed, religion is still relegated to the private sphere.

Modernity gave rise to secularisation.

When you take into account different viewpoints, especially those that are rational and enable service to play a part rather than attributing everything to religion, your perspective will become more open.

Because we recognise the equality of all religions, the Indian interpretation combines both meanings and is the antithesis of communal.

The differences between secularism's western and Indian interpretations provide a challenge for our nation.

The government's claim that making reservations is unfair is disputed by the majority.

The minority requests a reservation because the majority will cast a shadow over them.

Another challenge is that, despite the government's efforts to safeguard the minority, the majority's customs, holidays, etc., are nevertheless observed.

Political parties' interference is exacerbating these difficulties even further.

Despite all of these issues, our country is still secular.

We look after the minority without upsetting the majority while also upholding peace, tolerance, and community harmony.

Nehru declared that we are a democratic, secular, and independent nation when we gained our independence.

State and Civil Societies

Democracy: A form of government in which the populace has a voice, the ability to choose their political party's leader, and the freedom to exercise their fundamental rights.

Authoritative: A form of government in which all civil liberties are restricted and citizens are unable to hold the government to account.

Under the control of an authoritative "government," the institutions are powerless to address the needs of the populace (banks).

Civil society: not governed by the state, comprised of volunteers, taking place in the private sphere and not for profit. It is a noncommercial, nonprofit organisation that operates outside of the public sphere.

Civil societies are those groups or organisations that work to protect people's rights, particularly those of oppressed groups.

Civil societies, such as political parties, mainstream media, NGO's newspaper, and women's organisations, monitor government acts and strive for justice.

Emergency 1975-77

  • There were widespread sterilisation efforts that sterilised everybody and everyone.

  • Force was used to perform vasectomy on men and tubectomy on women.

  • Civil liberties were restricted

  • Individuals were imprisoned without a trial.

  • The suspension of civil rights

  • People who spoke up against the actions and the lower cadre of perpetrators were imprisoned.

  • Many political figures, including Jayaprakash Narayan, were imprisoned.

  • Following this, Indira Gandhi lost the election.

  • Following the emergency, there was a national uproar and the value of civic societies increased.


healthcare and relocation

Civil Society strives to

  • Keep an eye on the government to ensure that money is being used honestly.

  • to observe the application of the law.

  • If the government is running smoothly, for instance Law on Access to Information.

The 2005 Right to Information Act

Any person may request a government distribution of funds, payment of taxes, and a copy of the financial documentation under this legislation.

People have the right to request things from the government. The money has been divided up among several initiatives.

People have the right to question the government, and this had to do with the government alone, not the private sector.

Important terms

  1. Assimilation: The process of a group losing its own culture and adopting the culture of the prevailing majority. It is a process of cultural unification and homogenization. Both forced and voluntary assimilation are possible.

  2. Authoritarianism: A kind of government that does not rely on popular support for its legitimacy. neither a republican nor a democratic type of governance.

  3. Civil Society: A segment of society that exists outside of the family and is unaffiliated with either the state or the market. the field of voluntarily created associations and organisations for artistic, social, religious, or other non-state and non-commercial collective endeavours.

  4. Colonialism: The philosophy that motivates one nation to invade and colonise (i.e., settle and govern over) another. The colony is used in many ways for the colonising country's benefit and becomes a subordinate portion of that nation.

  5. Chauvinism based on religious identification is communalism. the idea that a person's or group's religion takes precedence over all other components of identification. is frequently accompanied by an aggressive and antagonistic attitude against individuals and groups who identify with other religions (or no religion at all).

  6. Community: A generic term for any unique group whose members are bound to one another by consciously acknowledged kinship, linguistic, cultural, and other relationships. More significant than concrete evidence of these similarities is the belief in their presence.

  7. Democracy: A type of governance that depends on explicit popular support through elections or other methods of gauging the public's opinion. Democracy derives its legitimacy from the people.

  8. Diversity (Cultural Diversity): The existence of numerous various types of cultural communities, such as those characterised by language, religion, geography, ethnicity, and so on, within the wider national, regional, or other context. a variety or multitude of identities.

  9. Integration: The process of unifying cultures in which cultural disparities are consigned to the private sphere and a uniform public culture is adopted by all groups. Typically, this entails making the dominant culture the official culture.

  10. Nation: A group of people that identify as a community based on similar traits like a language, location, history, religion, race, ethnicity, aspirations in politics, etc. A nation is made up of its people, who are the ultimate ensurers of its existence, significance, and strength, but nations may survive without one or more of these traits.

  11. Nation-State: A specific kind of state, typical in the modern world, where a government has sovereign power within a specified territorial region and the majority of the population are citizens who are aware of being a part of a single nation.

  12. Nationalism: Dedication to one's country and all things associated with it, frequently with emotion. The community is distinguishable and distinctive because it prioritises the nation, is biassed in its favour, etc.

  13. Pluralism: The coexistence of various racial, cultural, and religious groups in a society.

  14. Regionalism: The ideology of adherence to a specific regional identity, which may be based on location, language, ethnicity, or other factors.

  15. There are several types of secularism:

  • the belief that the government should keep religion and state completely distinct, or "separation of church and state," as is the case in western cultures; and

  • the belief that the government should treat all religions equally and without bias.

  • The perception of the antithesis of communalism, which is a position that is neither pro- nor anti-religion.

16. Social constructionism: An explanation of reality that places more emphasis on society than on nature. It believes that social interactions, values, and relationships—rather than biology or nature—are what ultimately determine the nature and meaning of reality.


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