“You can't legislate good will - that comes through education.” -Malcolm X
The efficacy of education as a tool for social upliftment, for creating positive change is always regarded. One of the most significant cause that we can utilize education for is National Integration. National Integration does not imply ‘similarity’ or becoming ‘identical’. It is Unity in spite of all differences, a feeling of common oneness, belonging to a particular country. So it means not considering inter-state, inter-linguistic, inter-religious and inter-cultural differences as significant.
National Integration becomes more important for a country like us because of reasons like
- Diversity of Constituents ( We have 29 states and most of states have different culture, different sects of people)
- Regionalism & Cultural Identities ( It is great to have different regions and identities for cultural richness but with so many regions there grows the probability for conflicts between different regions)
- Casteism and Communalism (This is one of the vicious evil present as a part of our society)
- Linguism (With so many languages, it is necessary to have one common language that may serve as a thread between all) With so much diversity in our country, National Integration becomes more imminent. As per Emotional Integration Committee (1961), “NI cannot be built by brick and mortar, it cannot be built by chisel and hammer. It has to grow silently in the minds and hearts of men. The only process is the process of Education.” So Education plays an important role in creating National Integration.
So ways in which Education can contribute in developing National Integration are:
- Uniform Policy of Education/Restructuring the school curriculum that focuses on acceptance of other communities and culture - Student Exchange Programs (Europe has also diversity like India in term of language and people. Student Exchange Programs such as Erasmus fosters interaction between various communities and enhances the feeling of tolerance. So Student exchange programs between various states can be implemented) - Giving more opportunities to experience culture of neighboring states focuses more cooperation. (New participants first enjoy other’s culture, then they try to understand it. Then they value it and finally they care about it - Highlighting/ Focusing on the commonalities with different cultures (We have common freedom struggles, common problems) - Celebrating festivals of other culture in schools by making them aware about their culture, dresses in form of movies and documentaries. The more the interdependence, exchange we develop with other cultures, the more will be National Integration. Having Empathy and Tolerance goes a long way.