"What are the factors that unify Indians?"

#1 Nov 8th, 2006, 05:37
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#1
I'll be traveling through India for ten weeks beginning on November 19. The amateur anthropologist in me would like to come up with a topic to focus on as I interact with people throughout India. I'm interested in the multicultural aspect of the country. What do you think about using this question: "What are the factors that unify Indians?" I invite your comments on this question in particular and whether or not you think I'd be able to gain insight into multiculturalism in India.
Thanks,
Tom Talarico
Bethel, Maine USA
#2 Nov 8th, 2006, 05:41
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#2
will give you five right of the bat ...

1: Pakistan
2: Cricket
3: Bollywood*
4: Television (used to much pre-1995)*
5: Diwali/Holi/Some festivals*


fine print
* very regional too....
#3 Nov 8th, 2006, 06:26
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#3

Unify

I am unsure of the question itself. What does it mean unify even? Doesn't take much to rattle Indians (and others I am sure. The only factor that would unify Indians is just being an Indian, warts & differences and all.
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#4 Nov 8th, 2006, 06:51
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#4
Factors that unify indians...gr8...i was contemplating the same this afternoon!!!

The biggest factor that unifies Indians is insecurity!

India is the most fragmented nation. The only reason it exists as one is because none of the fragments can stand on their own. they need each other's support. Post the communal riots of 1993 in Mumbai, many Muslims voted for Shiv Sena!!! Their reasoning is well justified. If the Sena came to power, they would be burdened with the need to maintain law and order and so the party would rein its own tigers. Sena needs the Muslims as well...to prove that they are not fundamentalists. It is a mutual convenience of sorts.

Members of the Parliament are forced to choose the confines of their own respective states to get elected. Once elected, they need to consolidate their incumbency by doling out sops to their states/constituencies. It is a mutual agrerement of sorts amongst politicians. So we have a Bengali railway minister announcing railway facilities for West Bengal. In the next government, the Bihari railway minister declares Hajipur as a Zonal HQ! There would be another one from Tamil Nadu who would do something similar to his state. The states without a representative on the railway ministry get zilch! But they might be reaping from other ministries!

Our current government is a coalition of weird sorts. The only thing that brought the parties together is power. Individually, they are powerless. The only thing that keeps them together is the common minumum programme.

India was on a common minimum programme since 1947. Like all common minumum programmes of any coalition, it is at best an average of the best. No wonder we are average in everything....health, planning, environment, agriculture, science and technology, growth, economy, demographics and even cricket!
...and I took the road less travelled.
#5 Nov 8th, 2006, 07:01
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Following are the major factors that bind India & Indians (the combinations, compositions & varieties will change from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction and lead you on an unbelievable culinary journey and quest of the basic bind of Indian society!):

Ajwain, Asafoetida, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds, Turmeric, Cloves, Garlic, Curry Leaves, Fennel, Seeds, Ginger, Chillies, Mustard, Red Pepper, Salt, Cassia, Black Pepper, Poppy Seeds, Anise, Bengal Gram, ardamom, Cassia buds, Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Dill Seed, Mace, Nagkeser, Nutmeg, Onion, Trifala, White Pepper.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#6 Nov 8th, 2006, 07:05
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds, Turmeric, Cloves, Garlic, Curry Leaves, Fennel, Seeds, Ginger, Chillies, Mustard, Red Pepper, Salt, Cassia, Black Pepper, Poppy Seeds, Anise, Bengal Gram, ardamom, Cassia buds, Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Dill Seed, Mace, Nagkeser, Nutmeg, Onion, Trifala, White Pepper.
Asafoetida and Ajwain...you missed them.
#7 Nov 8th, 2006, 07:11
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangss Asafoetida and Ajwain...you missed them.
Thanks rangss - just added them to the pot!

Dinners ready - Come and get it!!
#8 Nov 8th, 2006, 07:27
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#8
Humans all over the world, have an innate to divide themselves. the only thing that seems to unite them is a common enemy. Foer example, the people of united states became more united than even after 9/11.

In that sense, Pakistan would be that enemy that Indian unite behind. But, then again, some muslims in India support pakistan.
#9 Nov 8th, 2006, 10:48
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by crvlvr [...]
But, then again, some muslims in India support pakistan.
Cheap shot! Citations? For every muslim in India involved in an anti-national act, you can find other Indians (Hindus, Sikhs, Christians et al.) involved in something similar.

So why single them out?

A religious affiliation with people across the border does not translate into 'treason' or any such implied anti-national feeling.

Using such similar logic, then all Xians are suspect because they have fealty to the Vatican (the largest Xian sect is RC, in India, I believe)

Then again, I have no idea what you were trying to say with 'some muslims....'
#10 Nov 8th, 2006, 12:10
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Originally Posted by Digital drifter Cheap shot! Citations?
DD, I used the word "some" muslims. I should have added, "during cricket matches against pakistan"

http://www.nriol.com/content/articles/article7.html
Quote:
India has a similar "problem" with those Muslims who regularly support Pakistan when it comes to cricket. It is easy to criticise these Muslims for their "betrayal" ...
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles...sghar30823.htm
Quote:
...most of the Indian Muslims pray to God for making Pakistan the winner. I have seen many Indian Muslims beating their chests when India defeated Pakistan in the sport of Cricket; I have seen the same people distributing sweetmeats when Pakistan won over India.

Link: Kashmir Muslims prefer to support Pakistan team

but, thats the great thing about India...freedom of expression..

yes, supporting a visiting cricket team is definetly not treason.
Last edited by crvlvr; Nov 10th, 2006 at 10:45..
#11 Nov 9th, 2006, 20:33
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#11

Talking Huh?

Quote:
Cheap shot! Citations? For every muslim in India involved in an anti-national act, you can find other Indians (Hindus, Sikhs, Christians et al.) involved in something similar.

So why single them out?

A religious affiliation with people across the border does not translate into 'treason' or any such implied anti-national feeling.

Using such similar logic, then all Xians are suspect because they have fealty to the Vatican (the largest Xian sect is RC, in India, I believe)

Then again, I have no idea what you were trying to say with 'some muslims....
If only such statements would stand the test of scrutiny and reality. Wow!
#12 Nov 10th, 2006, 10:26
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevadatta If only such statements would stand the test of scrutiny and reality. Wow!
Which parts do you have a hard time believing?

Are you implying if one *has* a common religion with another across the border, then there is something treasonous about them?
#13 Nov 10th, 2006, 10:44
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#13
The very idea that my Muslim friends here in Chennai have anything to do with terrorism is completely absurd! Quite apart from the fact that they are far too busy with business and family life, they are as Tamil and as Indian as... well, as anyone else I know here!
~

Currently mobile browsing... have turned off pics, etc. Will try to catch up with all the birds, food, etc, in a week or two!
#14 Nov 10th, 2006, 11:22
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#14
Has anyone thought about CULTURE? From my personal experience the most common fiber which unites India is culture. Getting married to a 5th generation South African Indian. Guess what we share the same culture. People donít like to talk about culture because in India itís very difficult to identify where culture ends and where religion starts. Personally I have Muslim friends who follow Adab or culture which is more Indian than I can ever be. Just my 2 cents.
#15 Nov 10th, 2006, 12:13
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#15
Agree with taurian, but heres the interesting thing for those who say Pakistan unites us:
Broadly speaking, North Indian culture has more in common with Pakistani culture than it has with the culture of the South.

What I think is that true diversity unites India. With a dash of
inertia thrown in!

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