India that is Bharat is a country with diversity. There exist differences between people on the basis of caste, creed, colour, language, ethos, way of life and religious affiliations.
However, many of these issues need not affect the society as long as people abide by the norms and values committed to a broader identity say; a nation. But that is not the case in India. India is still a nation in the making. As Rajni Kothari observes, “the problem of national integration is the fundamental problem of political development”.
Major Obstacles to the Process of National Integration:
In essence, there are certain major aspects of the problem. They are as under:
Firstly, Communalism continues to be a major stumbling block in achieving national integration. The policy of ‘divide and rule’ used by British to serve their interest, continues to plague Indian society in more robust forms. The frequency of communal riots. Godhra riots and many smaller ones severely damage the prospect for national integration.
Secondly, Regionalism and sub-regionalism continue to affect India. It is true that a multicultural society like India cannot aspire to be a homogeneous one, but the fissiparous demands add to the woes of the polity.
Thirdly, Politics of populism exploits the inherent structural dimensions of Indian Society. The use of caste, creed, colour or sex as a tool to mobilize votes continues to be a black spot on the political process.
Fourthly, Poverty and illiteracy have continuously created apathy among Indian nationals. They have shown disenchantment with the polity and remain preoccupied either with their conventional ethos and way of life or turn to violent methods. Story of tribes and Naxals speak volumes about their either anti or non-Indian stands.
Fifthly, Politics of violence and movements centered on sectarian goals damages not only the political propriety but also a belief in the strength of the nation. Anarchy and political turmoil created by these forces hinder the pace of unity and integration.
Sixthly, the inadequate distribution of goods and services continues to result in creating disillusionment among crores of people who have till now owed allegiance to the nation.