A Country of Minorities
India is special. Every segment of the population is a minority in India, whichever way you slice its population.
Everyone is legitimate in crying 'minority'. However, there is no 'majority' to listen to the cries. Weird!
Some minorities may be dominant in certain geographical areas and in certain spheres of life and economy. But overall, the minorities are complementary. That is what keeps India strong and resilient.
That is why there is no polarization in India. Communists try to polarize along the lines of the rich/poor divide. Right-wing tries to polarize along the lines of Hindu/Muslim, etc. divide. Ambedkarites try to polarize along the lines of lower castes/upper castes divide. And there are many such others. Never such attempts succeeded and never will they.
The sense of plurality in general, and minority plurality in particular, is built into the Indian psyche. It is the educated, the media, the leaders that do not get it. They grew up in the pots called educational institutions, and live in the bubbles called media and social media, and in ideological and political organizations. And they try to understand and describe the reality using the limited vocabulary that those pots and bubbles supply. That is why they fail, both in understanding India and in solving its problems.
They try to borrow words like capitalism, socialism, feudalism, nationalism, etc. from elsewhere, to describe Indian society. This vocabulary could not even fully describe the societies in which it took birth. This vocabulary is emotionally charged. It creates more heat and less light.
Even the great selfless leaders of the pre-independence and early-independence era did not grasp and talk about this minority plurality, to the extent needed. They simply dreamed of a great, glorious, ‘modernized’, and homogeneous India.
India’s constitution is not a reflection of Indian society's nature, character, or strengths. It is partly utopian, partly a copy of the constitutions of other countries, and partly focused on curing the ills, some real but mostly imaginary. There is nothing extraordinary about the governance or political structure it has established. It doesn’t hold a mirror to the minority plurality.
That is why India’s structures and institutions, from educational institutions to legal institutions to financial institutions to healthcare institutions to agricultural structures are in chaos. But India, as a society, still functions, because nothing can take away its rock-solid ‘minority plurality’, which makes it super-resilient. It will not collapse or implode, as some fear.
India will prosper when the leaders, the educated and the media get a good sense of the minority plurality, develop a vocabulary to describe it, connect to it, take pride in it, plan in its terms, and be thankful for it.
India knows how to be harmonious without being homogeneous. That is what India can teach to the world. And the world would be grateful for it.
All the troubles of India stem from the attempts to make it homogeneous and from describing it with a vocabulary that is foreign to it. Both the left and right ends of the political spectrum are guilty of it, along with the media and the educated.