Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Utkala, Banga. Vindhya, Himachal, Yamuna, Ganga, Ucchala Jaladhi Taranga. The name 'India' rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujurat and Maratha. Of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal. It Echoes in the hills of Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Yamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Ocean. The National Flag of India  is in tricolour of deep saffron at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal propotions. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation, the white stands for purity and truth, the green for faith and fertility. As a whole it symbolizes our freedom. Pandit Nehru called it a flag not only of freedom for ourselves, but a symbol of freedom for all people. The tricolour stands for national integration and hence is the symbol of - A unified India.

India is a land which boasts of cultures, religions, regions, philosophies and sentiments of different hues. A land which boasts of ancient civilization, with cities and villages, cultivated fields, and great works of art dating back 4,000 years. Each and every region of the country portrays different customs and traditions. We speak different languages yet we are all Indians. 'Unity in Diversity' is the distinctive feature of our nation. Modern India presents a picture of one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Inspite of our high population density and social, economic and cultural diversity, together we form - A unified India.

India has always been a carrier and preserver of diverse cultures. Indian culture and tradition is ancient and amongst the richest in the world and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the important components of our culture. Even though we have accepted modern means of living, improved our lifestyle, our values and beliefs still remain unchanged. Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Elders are the driving force for any Indian family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. An individual takes blessings from his elders by touching their feet. “Respect one another” is another lesson that is taught by the Indian culture. All people are alike and respecting one another is ones duty. Helpful nature is another striking feature in our culture. Our culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. A person can change his way of clothing, way of eating and living but the rich values in a person always remains unchanged because they are deeply rooted within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture. Even though we are a land of various religions and caste our culture tells us just one thing 'phir bhi dil hai hidustani '. This great culture spreads the message of - A unified India.

The history of India dates back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization, when an agricultural economy gave rise to extensive growth and urbanization. The Ganga-Yamuna river basin and several southern river deltas experienced extensive agricultural expansion and population growth, leading to the emergence of cities, trade, and a sophisticated urban culture. No doubt we are a modern and a technologically advanced nation today however, agriculture is the base of all our developments starting from the Indus Valley civilization to the present day. In fact we still are an agriculture oriented nation. India lives in its villages and the villages depend on agriculture. Today the country is united and can think of development because we are self sufficient in food grains. When there is no food to eat how can a country even think of development? The credit actually goes to the numerous poor Indian farmers who have very well played their part in creating - A unified India.

By the seventh century, a dozen core regions within India were linked to each other by way of trade and commerce which gave rise to a cultural tradition which was spread all over the land. India started forming cross-cultural ties with other parts of Asia and the Middle East. Trade was on the rise and the country was on its way to prosperity and glory. Traders from India started travelling to far off places both through land and sea. The silk route which facilitated the trade activities tremendously those days is a bright example. Sailors from our land went to the far lands of Middle East, Europe and Africa to do business. They are the ones who put the foundation on which India today stands firm as an economic superpower. They have made their contribution towards the creation of - A unified India.

When the Aryans came to India, they contributed massively towards the unification of the entire country for the first time. In the seventeenth century, the Mughals came who adopted as well as expanded our agricultural economy and introduced new cultural forms or religions, such as Islam. By that time India  was already a part of a global trading economy which played an important role in the arrival of Portuguese explorers, traders, and missionaries. The English, arrived in force in the early seventeenth century and by the eighteenth century had made a profound impact on India. Modern institutions, such as universities, hospitals etc and technologies, such as railroads and mass communication were started by the British which served the Indian economic interests. Inspite of the damage they have done, we still cannot ignore what good they have done to form - A unified India.

A country that in the eighteenth century was a magnet for trade was, by the twentieth century, an underdeveloped and overpopulated land groaning under foreign rule. Our leaders of the past have made great efforts to achieve freedom for the nation as a result of which we are marching ahead on the path of development and prosperity. Today we freely move around in our country without anyone questioning or imposing any kinds of restrictions because our country is free from the British rule. The leader of all Indian leaders Mahatma Gandhi won freedom for India on 15th august 1947 and he shall never be forgotten. After independence, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister and under his governance India saw a new light of prosperity. Who could forget people like Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Maulana Azad and Dr. Ambedkar who fought for the freedom of the motherland? Who could forget people like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandra Shekhar Azad and numerous other unsung heroes who lost their lives? We consider them immortals as they are the ones who have made India - A unified India.

Before independence thousands of Indian soldiers had lost their lives in the World War II. Even after independence, we have fought three major battles in order to defend the boundaries of our country. We have fought against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. We have fought against China in 1962. Very recently, in the year 1999 Kargil war was fought between India and Pakistan. Our brave soldiers have sacrificed their lives in these wars for the cause of the motherland. Not only during war, during peace as well, hundreds of soldiers and policemen have died to protect the integrity of the nation. There have been many terrorist activities which have claimed the lives of brave Indian soldiers. Our soldiers stand guard at the borders so that we can enjoy our freedom. Nothing can fade the glory of these soldiers and martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice to fulfill our dream of - A unified India.

The recent terror attacks in Mumbai have jolted the whole nation. Whenever a bullet left the muzzle of the terrorists' gun, in the firing line were innocent Indians like us. We may be Hindus or Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, Marathis or Biharis, Oriyas or Bengalis, North Indian or South Indian. But, terrorists had only one thought in their mind - that we are Indian first. No doubt the loss we suffered was beyond recovery, it succeeded in accomplishing something that the terrorists never ever dreamt. They presented to the entire world - A unified India.

The country has faced many floods and famines. There have been cyclones, super cyclones and tsunamis. We witnessed devastating earthquakes in Gujarat, super cyclone in Orissa, massive floods in Assam and many other natural disasters in different parts of the country but we never gave up. Inspite of these difficult times, the whole of the nation continues to remain united. Today when the entire world is facing a situation of financial crisis, India is also feeling the heat. Economies all over the world have weakened, stock markets have crashed, unemployment has gone up and the investor community has incurred heavy financial losses. Even in such a tough situation, India is in a better position than United States which happens to be the most powerful country in the world. We are comfortable enough to anticipate a growth rate of six percent which indicates the stability and strength of the world’s largest democracy. It’s the people who make a country great and we Indians are united not only in difficult times but also in times of peace, celebration and joy. We celebrate our festivals together. Be it Holi, Diwali, Eid or Christmas, Indians celebrate these festivals together irrespective of their religions. Team India winning the 20-20 Cricket World Cup, Yuvraaj hitting sixes, Tendulkar smashing a century or Bhajji taking a wicket, no matter what, the entire nation enjoys cricket like one family. The final shot from Abhinav Bindra's rifle may not have been heard outside the packed hall in the Beijing Olympics Shooting Range but its bang was loud enough to lift the spirits of a billion Indians back home. Be it Shah Rukh Khan’s new film or Aishwarya’s marriage, the entire nation is concerned with it. When a child called Prince fell into a bore well pit and the rescue operations were on, the entire nation was glued to the television. Anxious people from all over India prayed for him as if he was their own son. This is how the Indians have been living together for ages. No matter how good or bad the times are, there continues to exist in the hearts of a billion people - A unified India.

How I wish, that my country remains united and my fellow country men are free from misery and pain. How I wish, that my country becomes free from terrorism, corruption and pollution. How I wish, that all Indians get their share of roti, kapra and makaan. How I wish, that all my wishes come true and all my brothers and sisters of India work together to achieve - A unified India.




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