Opinion: France Can Learn About "Unity in Diversity" From India

November 13, 2005

Source: New Kerala News

Wire Service: IANS


On November 13, 2005 the Indo-Asian News Service ran an opinion piece by Amulya Ganguli, a writer on current affairs. Ganguli writes, "The riots in France have focused attention on the norms and viability of a heterogeneous society. It is now being grudgingly admitted that the French model of seamless integration of native and immigrant communities is impractical. Perhaps India, with its long history of a multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society can provide useful guidelines. The key concept in the Indian experience has always been unity in diversity. Crucially, the emphasis is not only on both the factors but also in the belief that neither is sustainable on its own or an end in itself. Instead, they are interdependent, with one growing out of the other. In France, however, unity is the ultimate goal, automatically leading to the suppression of diversity. As a result, a determined effort is made to enforce a monochromatic uniformity at the expense of variety, entailing an artificial blurring of cultural differences. At the same time, it promotes the status of the indigenous lifestyle."