Sage Summer School

Indian Society: A melting pot or A salad bowl?

How conflicting is the thought that the individuals of a society, so diverse, that it holds
a beautiful spectrum of cultures along all directions, are still persistent to not look upon this
fact rationally.
For all of those who are yet confused about the title, let me take you with some cues.
‘A melting Pot’, as the metaphor goes, is a phrase expressing an approach to understanding a
society that has amassed multiple cultures and has moulded them all together into a single
whole, with parts of integrated cultures as it’s characteristics; very similar to a melting pot
thoroughly mixing all ingredients into a delicacy. While the ‘Salad Bowl’ approach
emphasizes on multicultural integration into a single society alongside keeping their
individual identities safe as a child in his mother’s lap.
So, now that you know what the phrases mean, go on and give them a thought.
Overlap your ideas with the reality of our nation. Do they coincide?
Coincidences are not very likely to be found easily, but sometimes we might get lucky.
Consider the School where you learned the value of friendship and sharing. You sat beside
you friends, not knowing which religion, culture, ethnicity or race they belong to, and yet
found the smile you still carry when you think about those times, right?
That is the kind of a blend Indian Society is. It is the place where anyone who ever
visited was so mesmerized, he couldn’t leave. This is the propinquity and affinity of our land.
Many People in today’s India have a view of a homogeneous Nation, where all eat the
same grain, wear the same colour, walk the same direction and think the same thoughts.
Where everybody concurs to the same ideas, faith and belief. But tell me something, have
you ever seen a new colour popping out of a single shade? No. It is because new shades are
born from a blend of two or more! For new Ideas to flourish, an environment of motivating
conflict is required.
In the same way, for our society to thrive, a perfect blend of cultures which hold onto
their legacies and cherish their ancestral values, is a must. Further, imagine if every other
person encouraged his neighbor to grow, I guess that would be the seasoning to our Salad!


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