India has never been a nation before the establishment of the British Empire India existed for long as a multi-State country says B.G.Gokhale (The Making of Indian Nation p.163). If not many there are two Indias one of which may be described as “Hindu India” and the other “South India (Deccan)”. Racially linguistically and politically these have remained separate. Prof. Sunderam Pillai in his Tamilian Autobiography claims that South India still continues to be India proper. Here the bulk of the people continue distinctly to retain their pre-Aryan features languages and social institutions.
Dr Gokhale further says that regional nationalism has been dominant in India and the sense of oneness felt by the Marhathas and Sikhs may be cited examples of this regional and religious patriotism. It is therefore misnomer to call India a nation. There are more than 30 nations in India like Sikh Tamil Muslim Maratha Telegu Naga Mizo etc.
Although the British rule created the sense of political unity in India yet it failed to transform the configuration of regional cultures in the country.
The old European concept of Nationality requires community of race language residence religion culture and political consciousness. This concept does not suit India because it is a multiracial metalinguistic and multi-religious country. All the people cannot be brought under the fold of Hinduism although the upper caste Hindu (Ruling class) is dreaming of it.
The ideal of Hinduism is the assimilation of all non-Hindus but the method badly failed in case of Muslims. Second to the Muslims rank the Sikhs who are struggling for keeping their separate identity. There are two opposing tendencies found among the people in India. The advocates of the existence of the national unity assert that India is the house of Aryans and all others are not ‘sons of the soil’ They claim that Hinduism is the rightful religion of India and Indian culture is Hindu culture They also wish to unify culture by slogan of Hindi Hindu Hindustan.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 3, 1991