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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Composite Culture of India” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Composite Culture of India

 

India, our country, has for ages been known to the world for its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, respect for life, higher values of life and spiritual attainments. It is acknowledged the world over that the culture of India is very diverse, old, rich and all embracing. The superiority of India’s composite culture can be fully appreciated from the fact that this country has all along been known in the whole world for its lofty values of life and peace-loving nature.

The composite culture of our country is very rich and healthy because the traits of various religions and cults flourishing in this country side by side are prominently visible in its various aspects. This composite, culture is therefore, really said to be the soul of India—the life of the nation. To know about this diverse culture, we have to go back to the very early Vedic Age— from where we got the social, religious and spiritual influences which have left indelible marks on our social life.

The age of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna was the time whose impact has really been felt on every stream of Indian culture and history till this day. The doctrines of Karma and Truthfulness have come down to us from this period. That was really the period which left deep influence on our culture and beliefs for all times to come.

Then came the times of Buddha, whose life and teachings imparted new refinement to our glorious culture. His philosophy of ahinsa and non-injury even to animals are till this day a part Integral of our sublime composite culture. Wherever and whenever world peace is in danger, it is the peace-loving India which sends its Jawans to maintain peace and tranquility in strife-torn lands. Little wonder, then, that India is known the world over as the land of Gautam and Nanak. When the Indians began to forget the teachings of Gautam Buddha, whose message was already spreading light in foreign lands, there appeared the Great Nanak on the Indian spiritual scene and brought succor to the suffering humanity and extinguished the fires of hatred and animosity which had started raging in this country. Sikhs became the standard bearers of the banner of love and tolerance hoisted by Guru Nanak Dev. But when power went to the head of the Moghuls, the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev laid down his life and this single act transformed the saintly Sikhs into a sword-wielding arm of the great Hindu society. Guru Gobind Singh created the valiant Khalsa on Baisakhi Day (March 30, 1699), in his own image and proclaimed to the world, that when all others means of securing redress fail, we can also wield the sword.

The Islamic culture had come to India with the Turkish Sultans and Moghul emperors. Akbar, the most important among the Moghul rulers introduced even a new religion called Din-i-Ilahi, based on the principle of oneness of God. After Moghuls started the era of British colonial rule in India. This period of 200 years was the dark period of Indian history. But during this period, the Indians learnt a lot from the outside world. We now learnt the strength of unity, power of patriotism and merits of a democratic polity. That was the reason that immediately after the departure of the British 500-odd Indian native States merged with the Independent India without creating a ripple.

It is true that superficial observers are likely to be bewildered by the astonishing variety of Indian life. They fail to discover the One in Many, the individual in the aggregate; the simple in the composite. With them the whole is lost in its parts. What is needed is superior interpretations, synthesis of the power of the mind that can give rise to a vision of the whole.

A keen penetrating insight will not fail to recognise a fundamental unity beneath the manifold variety in India. The diversity itself, far from being a damaging cause of disunity and weakness, is a fertile source of strength and ‘Wealth. Sir Herbert Risley has rightly observed : “Beneath the manifold diversity of physical and social types, languages, customs and religions which strike the observer in India, there can still be discerned a certain underlying uniformity of life from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin.” From his long and firsthand experience in India, Vincent A. Smith says that the civilisation of India “has many features which differentiate it from that of the other regions of the world, while they are common to the whole country in a degree sufficient to justify its treatment as a unity in the history of human, social and intellectual development”. Even the early Indian history unmistakably shows that the political consciousness of the people has, from the very early times, grasped the whole of India as a unit and assimilated the entire area as theatre of its activities. India is not a mere geographical expression, nor is it a mere collection of separate peoples, traditions and conventions. India is more, much more, than this. The best proof lies in the fact that Indian history has quickened into life.

India has many races, castes, sub-castes, nationalities and communities, but the heart of India is one. We are all heirs to a common and rich culture. Our cultural heritage consists of our art and literature as they flourished centuries ago. Our cultural heritage serves as a bond of unity between people of difference faiths and creeds.

The streams of different cults and cultures have flowed into our sub-continent to make us what we are and what we will be. There were Dravidians in India before the coming of the Aryans and the Hinduism is a blend of cultures of the North and the South.

India has one hundred and fifty dialects, and eighteen recognised regional languages, but Hindi, like English, has come to stay as the lingua franca of our nation. From Kashmir to Kanya Kumari and from Maharashtra to Nagaland, Hindi is now understood and is recognised as the National Language of India. India has a rich cultural heritage. We are inheritors to several grand treasures in the fields of music, fine arts, dance, drama, theater and sculpture. Our sages and seers have left behind a tradition of piety, penance, spiritual greatness and conquest of passion. Our scriptures are the storehouses of spiritual wisdom. Our saints and rishis aspired to the realisation of the Infinite. We have inherited great spiritual values contrasted with which the materialistic progress of the West appears insignificant. The West has lot to learn from India, and it has now been realised when people in the United States and Europe are turning to the Indian way of life. Indian yogis and maharishis, musicians and spiritual leaders, have all attracted them in a big way. A significant move to project India’s cultural unity has been the holding of Festivals of India in various parts of the world. The West is fast leaning towards our spiritual values which include meditation and contemplation, charity and love, universal brotherhood and fear of God, piety and unselfishness, control of passions and peace of mind.

Our cultural unity is further exemplified by the temples of the South, the caves of Khajuraho, Ajanta and Ellora, which are shining examples of India’s proficiency in sculpture and architecture. Our music has come to enjoy a worldwide popularity.

Indian classical music, like the Indian dances, is built on the concepts of ragas and talas. Each raga is regarded appropriate to a certain emotion, a certain mood suitable for a certain time of the day or the night. There are believed to be about 250 ragas in common use in the North as well as in the South. In the modern times, people like Pandit Ravi Shankar have taken Indian music to the West and thus bridged the gulf between the music of the East and the West.

Other significant features of India’s cultural unity are the variety, colour and the emotional richness of its dance. The country abounds in tribal dances, folk dances as well as classical dances of great virtuosity. Throughout India dance is regarded not merely as an accompaniment to social intercourse, but also as a mode of aesthetic expression and spiritual realisation. The great symbol of dance is Shiva, the Cosmic Dancer, depicted in sculpture and poetry as Nataraja. Similarly, the classical theater in India has a history of more than two thousand years. It was performed in dance. Tragedy was, and is, still discouraged; otherwise, the range palaces and in temples. The classical plays combined music and of themes covered is wide.

Indian culture is a composite culture because here there is protection and freedom of distinct identity even for religious and ethnic minorities. It is only in India that followers of any religion and denomination can profess, practise and propagate religion of their choice. It is all because of the secular character of Indian cultural strains flourishing side by side. No cultural or religious group can dominate any other cultural or religious group. We, the people of India must feel proud of having such a rich cultural heritage. Another important factor that has helped India to have its composite culture is the readiness of Indians to accept and adopt anything good coming from any direction. It is also because of the influence of our common social reformers who mentally prepared the people of this country to line together in peace and amity in spite of differences in beliefs and traditions.

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