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Essay on “National Integration Day – November 19” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

National Integration Day – November 19

 

Indira Gandhi’s birthday, November 19th, is being celebrated as National Integration Day every year.

She was the daughter of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and mother of India’s youngest Prime Minister, Mr.Rajiv Gandhi. In spite of her famous last name, she was by birth not related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister from 1966-77 and then again from 1980 to till her death at the hands of her own bodyguards.

Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917, the only child of Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. The active participation of both her parents in India’s independence struggle drew Indira Gandhi to politics at an early age.

By the time, she was twelve years old; she headed what came to be known as the Monkey Brigade. The monkey brigade consisted of children who warned the independence movement leaders of their arrest. Being its leader, she delivered speeches while other children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested. The Congress figured that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement.

She was sent to England for her studies, where she joined the Somerville College, Oxford. She also spent time in Switzerland primarily because her mother needed to be there due to her ill health. However, her mother passed away in 1936.

In 1938, Indira returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress Party. In 1942, she married journalist Feroze Gandhi. She had two sons – Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. Her one and only imprisonment lasted from September 11. 1942 until May 13, 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad.

India won its independence from the British in 1947. Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first Prime Minister. Since her mother’s death, Indira acted as her father’s hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru. She began to associate herself with numerous organizations. From 1953-57, she was Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board. In 1955, she became a member of the Working Committee and Central Election Committee, the Central Parliamentary Board from 1956, and was the President of the All India Youth Congress from 1956 to 1960.

After the death of her father, Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Indira Gandhi as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. This position was the fourth highest-ranking position in the Cabinet as radio and television were important sources to disseminate information to the largely illiterate population of India. As a minister, she encouraged the making of inexpensive radios and started the family planning program.

Lal Bahadur Shastri suddenly died of a heart attack in 1966. The contenders for Prime Minister’s post could not agree among themselves and therefore felt that Indira Gandhi would be the best for the position as a Prime Minister. Hence, she became the Prime Minister in 1966 until India held the next elections in 1967. She won that election in 1967 and became the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. In 1971, Mrs. Gandhi was re-elected by campaigning with the slogan “Garibi Hatao” (Abolish Poverty).

She rode a wave of success in 1971 with India’s victory in the Indo-pak war and the launching of the India’s first satellite into space. With the testing of a nuclear device in 1974, she earned the reputation of a tough and shrewd politician among the middle class. In an attempt to control population growth, she implemented a voluntary sterilization program.

She declared a state of emergency on June 25, 1975. In the post-emergency period, as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was preoccupied with efforts to resolve the political problems in the state of Punjab. “Operation Bluestar”, waged in June 1984, led to the death of Bindranwale, and the Golden Temple was stripped clean of Sikh terrorists. In November of the same year, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated, at her residence, by two of her own Sikh bodyguards.

Mrs. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a “Statesman”, and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics.

Secularism in India

A Nation or a State is composed of certain elements. They are territory, population, government and sovereignty. The people of the State may follow one or more religions. For example there are a number of religions in India – Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism etc. Still it is a secular State. India has fifteen officially declared languages besides many dialects. It has also people belonging to Aryan race, Dravidian race and Mongolian race. It has in itself various types of cultures. It is an example of unity in diversity.

It is true that India is a unified country. It is also true that after Independence, India became really strong and united after the merger of princely States into the Indian union. After the reorganization of States on linguistic basis, some issues that were not anticipated earlier have arisen. Every State now thinks that its language is rich and it has a superior heritage than the others.

Similarly, those who belong to one religion feel that they should have a separate State of their own. Their ill-founded aspirations are now threatening the unity of the country. Based on these aspirations, terrorism has taken its roots. Government is now threatened with these undesirable protests and agitations. So the need has arisen to put down all these forces of separation. Government is aware of this need and has already taken and is taking the required steps in this direction.

Secularism in India has very different meaning and implications. The word secularism has never been used in Indian context in the sense in which it has been used in Western countries. India is a country where religion is very central to the life of people. India’s age-old philosophy as expounded in Hindu scriptures called Upanishad is sarva dharma samabhava, which means, equal respect for all religions.

Constitution and Secularism

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India was a great champion of secularism and secular politics. Theoretically speaking, the Congress Party was also committed to secularism. However, the Congress Party consisted of several members and leaders whose secularism was in doubt. However, it was due to Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and B.R.Ambedkar that India committed itself to secularism and its Constitution was drafted on secular lines.

Secularism in India meant equal respect for all religions and cultures and non-interference of religion in the government affairs. According to the Indian Constitution, no discrimination should be made based on caste, creed, gender and class. Similarly, all citizens of India irrespective of one’s religion, caste or gender have right to vote. According to articles 14 to 21, all will enjoy same rights, without any discrimination on any ground.

According to Article 25, all those who reside in India are free to confess, practice and propagate religion of one’s choice subject of course to social health and law and order.

The 42nd amendment to the Constitution introduced by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, reiterated the secular character, declaring India as a “socialist, secular, democratic state”. The Fundamental Duties incorporated into the Constitution through the same Amendment make it the responsibility of every citizen to strive for the promotion of “the spirit of enquiry, scientific outlook, humanism and reform.

India One Dream, One Destiny

 “I- do not expect India of my dreams to develop one religion, i.e., to be wholly Hindu or wholly Christian or wholly Mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working side by side with one another.” Mahatma Gandhi

“For a time they (Hindus and Muslims) flowed along their separate courses, but nature’s immutable law brought them into a confluence. Eleven hundred years of common history have enriched India with our common creative and constructive achievements.” “Our languages, our history, our literature, our culture, our art, our dress, our manners, our costumes bear the stamp of this common life. Our shared life of a thousand years has forged a common nationality. Such molds cannot be artificially constructed. Nature’s hidden anvils shape them over the centuries. The mould has now been cast and destiny has set her seal upon it.” Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Congress address, 1940

 “The whole history of India was witness of the toleration and even encouragement of minorities and of different racial groups. There is nothing in Indian history to compare with the bitter religious feuds and persecutions that prevailed in Europe. So we did not have to go abroad for ideas of religious and cultural toleration; these were inherent in Indian life.” Jawaharlal Nehru 1945

Quotations taken from the world’s four greatest religions Hinduism

  • “Truth is one, the wise call it by various names.”(The Riga Veda)
  • “What you desire for yourself, you should desire for others. What you do not like others to do to you, you should not do to others.”(Mahabharata Shantiparva, 258)
  • “That mode of living which is founded upon a total harmlessness towards all creatures or (in case of actual necessity) upon a minimum of such harm, is the highest morality”. (Mahabharata, Shantiparva, 262.5-6)
  • “In whatever way they (the human beings) love me (God), in the same way they find My love. Various are the ways for them, but in the end they all come to Me freely”.
  • “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then you will achieve your divine destiny”. Bhagavad-Gita.

Christianity

  • “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him, but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.” (Mark 7:15)
  • “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Mathew 5:44)
  • “If any one considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue. he deceives himself and his religion is worthless”. (James 1:26)

Islain

  • “There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood; whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)
  • “Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…” (Qur’an 2:256)
  • “O you who believe: Be steadfast witness for Allah equity and let not _hatred of any people Seduce yin that you deal not justly. Be just; that is nearer piety.”(Qur’an 5:8)to
  • `The most complete in faith are the humble believe, who like people and whom people like. Anyone  does not like people and whom people do not Who like, is not one of us.’
  • `Whoever does not mercy our youngsters, and does not respect our elders, and does not bid good and forbid evil, he is not one of us The Prophet

Sikhism (According to Guru Nanak Dev Ji )

  • ‘There is one and only one God.’
  • ‘All Men are equal before God, regardless of color, race and creed.
  • ‘Fear nobody, frighten nobody.’
  • `All those around us are our brothers and sisters. They are all children of one God only.’
  • Do not speak ill of others, do not hear ill of others’

India has a long history. It has seen many conquerors and many onslaughts. Yet there are some inherent factors which have kept India united all these centuries. Indians, whatever type of dress they wear, are one in observing certain customs and traditions. They are all one in adopting a positive human approach. For centuries Indians have respected all religions and secularism is in their blood. Their songs, music, dance, art and literature cover all people and there are no borders or territories for them. There are festivals which are celebrated by Hindus as well as Muslims. It is not easy to destroy their unity. The people of our country have shown this fundamental unity during times of war with Pakistan and China.

As man is selfish, efforts are required to put an end to these disintegrating forces in the initial stage itself. It is possible to do so by moulding the minds of the young in schools and colleges.. Education could easily act as an instrument to develop the spirit of unity by including lessons on unity in the curriculum. Cultural exchange programmes can also help this cause.

What is much more important and necessary is that all political parties, particularly regional parties, adopt a policy that national integration is of utmost importance. They should convince their followers that we should think of the Nation first and then of the States. They should also join together to put down terrorism in whatever shape it may appear. They should give priority to the interests of the country first and then consider their local interests. Then only it will he possible to promote the unity and integrity of our Nation, and enjoy the hard won freedom.

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