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Does Religion in India alone serve as backbone to the society? Read Here!

Indians burst crackers at Diwali, hug each other during Eid, sing carols during Christmas and the same crowd goes to Gurudwara to enjoy the meal of Langar

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“In religion, India is the only millionaire… The one land that all men desire to see and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the world combined”.   
– Mark Twain

Sept 08, 2016: India is a vast reflection of the diverse culture, different languages, myriad discovered and unknown talents and therefore religion is not alone the standing foundation or backbone of the country.

Religion is an inseparable part of every society and is more of a social system that can be understood if one delves carefully into the practices such as- common faith, worship, rituals, customs, as well as traditions.

While Hinduism is the most practiced religion in India; there are large believers of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism as well in the society. According to the 2011 census, more than 80% of the population of India practice Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths).

If we trace the history of religions in India, we are likely to find that Hinduism is the fundamental root of Indian culture. Not just that, it is one of the most modern and well as the world’s third largest religion. Indian philosophy, architecture, cuisine, festival, standard of living are somehow greatly influenced by Hinduism. Islam first came to the western coast of India with Arab traders as early as 7th century AD to coastal Malabar and the Konkan-Gujarat. The Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went.

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Indians are free spirited. We burst crackers at Diwali, hug each other during Eid, sing carols during Christmas and the same crowd goes to Gurudwara to enjoy the meal of Langar.  The difference in our beliefs unites us more than creating barriers. The cultures and customs that include gathering and the idea of celebrating together help to know every community in the best possible way.

Food is also a great unifying factor in India. Indian cuisine is a beautiful blend of delicacies that different communities and each of them hold a story within it. It is quite interesting to know the history and improvising of the dishes over time. There is more, the Indian clothing is popular not only in India but worldwide. The interesting patterns and vivid colours will leave anyone hungry for more.

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There is more, the Indian clothing is popular not only in India but worldwide. The interesting patterns and vivid colours will leave anyone hungry for more. Needless to say that India’s tribal culture have also affected clothing over time and the designers are going back to history to create something new in their collection.

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Where the dissimilarities that our Nation is built of- fascinate us, it also gives rise to conflicting mindsets! History bears evidence that how religion has influenced politics and how decisions were made by great people not by rational thinking or logical reasoning, rather being completely blinded by faith.

There has been a consistent clash among different religions since the partition of India. The religions though always spread the message of love, peace, and brotherhood but the way the idea of religion was projected by us among the society, it gave birth to religious differences and therefore the seed of hatred prevails somewhere or the other.

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The politicians have used the name of God and religion to create discrepancy among the peaceful mindset of the preachers of the same. Vote bank politics and the so-called messenger of the Almighty influence people against other religions and sometimes the heterogeneity within the different communities in India leads to hatred, violence, fights and disturbances.

A lot of political observers and philosophers of India are often surprised that India still stays as a single nation as many of them have predicted India to fall apart immediately after Independence and the Partition. They were too taken aback by the diversity. And that is what we need to understand that India is an enormously unique and incredible country just because of the unity that we possess despite the rich cultural and religious differences.

Although, religion affects every aspect of our life and society in some way or the other and it solely depends on us that whether we let the beauty of this uniqueness separate us or unite us!

– by Arya Sharan of NewsGram. Twitter: NoOffense9

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Nagpal Singh

    A great piece by an optimist nationalist …

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.