Nation, State And Nation State In India

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The Definition of Nation

The word nation has its etymological origin in French word nacion, Latin nation-em that mean breed, stock or race. Similarly, in Spanish to words like nacion and in Italian Nazione. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it means ‘a large community of people, so closely connected by common descent or men, typically organized as a separate political state and occupying a definite territory.” At the same time, amongst the first known usages of the word in English, we find the father of English Geoffrey Chaucer using it in Man of Law’s Tale.

The first attempt to define an entity of nation was made by Ernest Renan in 1882. He refused the view about the nation which says that nations were created by territorial boundaries like mountains, rivers and oceans etc. For him nation is an ultimate outcome of human will and memory. He defined nation as a human collectively brought together by will, consciousness and collective memory of the people.

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Stalin described more accurate and thorough understanding of nation. For him nation was human collective sharing and having a common territory, language, economic issues and psychological make-up. He defines that, as a nation, it is a historically constituted, stable group of people, established on the basis of a common language, land, economic life and psychological makeup that is embodied in a common culture.

It is obvious that nationalism is a key force behind the creation of every nation in the world. Hence defining what nationalism is becomes important. Crucial factor behind the creation of foundation of each and every nation in the world. Therefore it becomes necessary to define what nationalism is. After that, an essay on the rise of state and country as legislative elements in the definition of nationalism and nation state will follow. It is worth beginning with the Gellner interpretation as being a widely agreed interpretation of nationalism. Nationalism is a political theory that considers national and political entities to be aligned with each other. Today the state has become one of the most essential, aspects for our life. At the same time we have to understand the nation which can be recognized as the second prerequisites for nationalism. There was no trace of nation in the medieval times. The cultural units of the medieval world were either very small or very large.

The cultural units of the political units were also of uneven kind. Accordingly, neither the political nor the cultural unit was attracted towards one-culture-one-polity theory. Then the obvious question arises in our mind that why the passion for nationalism was so characteristic of our times and why it was missing from the head of agrarian human being to answer such important questions? There are certain features of agrarian society to be concentrated upon.

The society grounded on constant progress both economic and cognitive and both are associative to each other. There were changes in the agrarian world but that was not the rule. On the other hand, continuous changes were occurring in an Industrial society.

It was an educated society. The Education in the agrarian society was the exclusive privilege of high culture. Whereas the compulsion for universal education demanded by the very existence of industrialization. It actualized the spread of literacy for everyone. Majority of industrial participants were drawn from different section of the society further all these participants must be able to harmonize with each other to run the economy and the system.

Definition of state

The Encyclopedia Britannica described the state as either the political entity of society, or the legislative body, or, more broadly, the government institutions. The State is a type of human association which is differentiated by its function from other social classes. Establishing order and security; its processes, legislation and enforcement; its territories. Jurisdiction or territorial borders Contemporary Views.

In the 20th century, concepts of state ranged from anarchism, in which the state was deemed unnecessary and even harmful in that it operated by some form of coercion, force, to the welfare state, in which the government was held to be responsible for the survival of its members, welfare, guaranteeing subsistence to those lacking it in a particular society.

In the circumstances of the destruction produced by the nationalistically inspired world wars. The theories of internationalism like those of Hans Kelsen, Oscar Ichazo appeared. Kelsen put forward the idea of the state, nation. As simply a centralized in legal order.

No more sovereign than the human, because it cannot be determined by its own life and experience alone. In the sense of its relationship with the rest of the world it has to be seen. The Ichazo suggested a new kind of state in which all individuals ‘ intrinsic values formed a basis for unity, with the entire world operating as a single entity.

Nationalism in India

There are certain areas which are left behind without any categorization. In case of India the nation has experienced four kinds of nationalism. The major Indian nationalism was territorial, anti-colonial and led to the creation of a nation-state through the national movement, freedom movement.

The varicosity of dynasties that ruled India such as Maurya, Gupta, and Mughal empires cause to define the territorial boundaries of India. Similarly, because of that India is unique country in the world by having three types of culture that developed in presidencies and provinces of the Raj. The unique quality of Indian independent movement was that throughout its active period it remained linguistically and culturally plural. Unity in diversity becomes greatest strength of Indian national and freedom movement.

The Pakistani nationalism may be as considered as the rival nationalism to the Indian Nationalism. It was based on two nation theory. Mr. Jinnah the undisputed leader of Pakistani Nationalism made statement that Indian Muslims always existed as a nation, but they could not realize it till the early 20th century.

Is India is a Nation state or State Nation

Is India a “nation-state” or a “state-nation” The answer to this question will determine India’s democratic future? The book written in 2011, Crafting State-Nations: India and other Multinational Democracies, political scientists Juan Linz, Alfred Stepan, and Yogendra Yadav argued that that the, diverse societies have one of Two strategies for balancing the twin goals of nation-building and building democracy.

The political economy and its analysis in India show the issues of corruption, government instability, state power, distributive politics, and electoral behaviour. Historian Eugen Weber has famously described how French leaders turned the peasants into French in the wake of the revolution by molding a shared cultural, linguistic and national identity, regional diversity, which was unique, and mainly, French. One route is the creation of a nation-state where the State’s political boundaries match the nation’s cultural boundaries.

As for culturally diverse communities, at least some of which are territorially dependent and sponsored by a powerful sub-national identities, At best the model nation-state is inefficient and at worst counterproductive. Rather of making India a nation state, Mr Yadav proposes an alternative approach to what they consider a state-nation.

While a nation-state insists on continuity between state and country borders, a state-nation enables the coexistence of a multiplicity of imagined societies under a single democratic structure. It recognizes that in a nation citizen can have multiple, overlapping, conflicting, identities that need not detract from a larger sense of national unity.

The Constituent Assembly debates (CAD) did not the frame arguments in precisely these terms; India’s founders had the choice between a unitary Indian nation-state and a flexible state-nation. They restricted themself from the prevailing European model of nationalism not out of weakness, but rather a conviction that India’s unprecedented diversity could not be corralled into such a hegemonic framework.

The power and force of this idea of India was that there was and is in fact, no single idea of India, the Citizens could belong to an Indian nation but also express their pride as Member of the state of Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states identities, Urdu-speakers, Hindus or someone else.

A central feature of the state-nation model was the right to hold several, complementary identities but not the only one. Asymmetric federalism, an embrace of individual rights, freedoms and collective recognition, and a belief in political integration without cultural assimilation were also critical.


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