India is a land of diversity that has always accommodated people from all cultures and religions for centuries. It is a birthplace of countless beliefs and their sects that have flourished and grown into its streets. Indian culture is not homogeneous, rather it’s a conglomeration of cultural and religious values intertwined with each other at one place.
As per Aryan Migration theory, India welcomed traders from parts of Middle East almost four thousand years ago who settled in Northern part of Modern India and were called Aryans. This migration resulted in Dravidian community settling further down in the southern part of Indian subcontinent.
The faiths that took birth in Indian landmass have also been providing spiritual guidance to the whole world for centuries; Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism are good examples of the same. Buddhism spread out of India and today a considerable population living in Far East follows Buddhist way of life.
In India, Hindus and Muslims have been living harmoniously with each other for more than a thousand years with Muhammad bin Qasim entering the Indian landmass in 7th century.
Mughal Emperor Akbar, who is also considered one of the most successful rulers of all time, is particularly known for laying the foundation of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb as it is called in today’s time. He was a just ruler who was secularist in his approach and open-minded in his demeanour. His court had equal representation from all sections of the society.
Ustad Ameer Khusro is also an eminent personality amongst the torch-bearers of “Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb” and “tamaddun” that is the need of the hour for country’s prosperity. Ameer Khusro was a Sufi mystic who has always been equally revered by followers of all religions. His poems bear a message of communal harmony, diversity and universal brotherhood. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the great Muslim reformer, has said that India is like a bride and Hindus and Muslims are its two eyes i.e. they both are required to function together for the bride to look beautiful. This message of universal brotherhood needs to be transferred to the next generation so that the seeds of communal harmony can help flourish a diverse society.
In recent history, there came an inspirational leader who saved the country from becoming a hotbed of communal forces and dedicated his life to help form a progressive India, the man behind Indian Freedom Struggle and first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. He was a man of integrity who exercised all his wit, grit and intellect to implant a notion of secularism, democracy and communal harmony in the very colorful Indian society
He is inspirational because what he inherited was an India tattered by a couple centuries of colonial rule added to a sunken monarchy. The economy was in shambles, the demography was disturbed, partition had just ended and the flare of religious polarization was at its peak. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru has two big achievements to his name; first, instilling a scientific temperament among Indian masses, and second, sowing a seed of communal harmony when it was needed the most.
It is essential to understand the importance of people who laid down their lives to protect the secular, diverse fabric of the Indian society. Figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Maulana Azad and Bhagat Singh who stood for nothing but the idea of a united India sacrificed themselves to this cause. It becomes a responsibility of every patriotic Indian citizen to conserve these values to the best of their abilities.