NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology Chapter 6 The Challenges of Cultural Diversity

Q1. What is meant by cultural diversity? Why is India considered to be a very diverse country? (C.B.S.E.2013)


What is meant by cultural diversity? (C.B.S.E.2012)


Encouraging cultural diversity is a good policy from both the practical and the principle points of view. Justify the statement using India’s case of a Nation-State. (C.B.S.E.2017 (D))

Answer:- The term diversity gives emphasis on differences instead of inequalities. When we say that great cultural diversity exists in India, it means that many different types of social groups and communities live over here. These communities are defined by cultural markers like religion, language, sect, race or caste.

People of many castes and religions live in India which is why their languages, eating habits, living styles, traditions, customs, etc., are different from each other. Every group has different ways of marriage, living styles, etc. Religious scriptures of every religion are different and every one pays its homage to them. Dances, art, festivals, architecture, etc., are also different. That is why India is considered as a diverse country.

Q2. What is community identity and how is it formed?

Answer:- Community identity is based on birth and belonging instead of some type of acquired qualification or accomplishment. It is what we are instead of what we have become. There is no need to do anything to be born into a particular community. In fact, no one has any choice about which family or community or country they are born into. These types of identities are called ascriptive identity. They are determined by birth and do not involve any choice on the part of the concerned individuals.


Why is it difficult to define the nation? (C.B.S.E.2012)

Answer:- Presently it is difficult to define a nation in any way other than to say that it is a community that has succeeded in acquiring a state of its own. Interestingly, the opposite has also become increasingly true. Just as would-be or aspiring nationalities are now more and more likely to work towards making a state, existing states are also finding it more and more necessary to claim that they represent a nation.

One of the main features of modern age is the establishment of democracy and nationalism as dominant sources of political legitimacy. It means that, nowadays, the nation is the most accepted justification for a state and the people are the most important source of legitimacy of the nation. Therefore, it can be said that states need the nation as much or even more than nations need states.

Q4. Why are states often suspicious of cultural diversity? (C.B.S.E.2013)

Answer:- The meaning of cultural diversity is the existence of different religions, communities, races, cultures, traditions, customs, etc., in a state. But many problems occur in the country due to cultural diversity like casteism, linguism, regionalism, communalism, terrorism, communal violence, etc. This increases tension in the which is why states are often suspicious of cultural diversity.

Q5. What is regionalism? What factors is it usually based on


Mention two factors that encourage regionalism. (C.B.S.E.2011, 2012)


What is meant by regionalism? (C.B.S.E.2013)

Answer:- Giving preference to one’s own region and neglecting all other regions for the purpose of decision-making, availing benefits or utilising any natural or economic resources is known as regionalism. Giving encouragement to people of own region is also a form of regionalism. People of other region are considered as outsiders. Similarly, demanding interests for one’s own region is known as regionalism.

The concept of regionalism came into being after independence. After independence, Indian Government kept the same status of states as made by the Britishers. It led to the demand of making states on linguistic basis as people speaking many languages were living in various states and that is why many problems originated. Due to this, the Government of India reorganised the states in 1956 on linguistic basis and hence forth 19 states were formed. Even after this, many more states were formed on linguistic basis. From here onwards the feeling of regionalism originated.

Factors of Regionalism. Imbalance existing in different regions is the major cause of regionalism. One region getting more help from the centre and other getting less help, resources of one region in itself being more or less of other region, different languages of different regions, etc., are some of the major causes which gave birth to regionalism. That is why different political parties came into being which aroused the sentiments of regionalism.

Q6. In your opinion has the linguistic reorganization of states helped or harmed India?


Do you think that the linguistic recognition of states has helped or harmed India? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (O.D.))

Answer:- In 1956, states were reorganised by the Indian Government on linguistic basis. After this, it became quite easy for the government to run the administration and it accepted to reorganise other regions as well on linguistic basis. But no one thought about its negative impact. In my opinion, linguistic reorganisation of states has harmed India.

The feeling of regionalism aroused due to reorganisation. This, in turn gave strength to terrorism and the demand was again raised for the reorganisation of other states on the same base. Even today, people of South India hardly accept Hindi as their own language. They like to use English language with their mother tongue.

Q7. What is a minority? Why do minorities need protection from the state? (C.B.S.E. 2013)

Answer:- When some people of the society have less representation in the population of the society, then they are known as minority groups. It means that when any group, based on religion or caste, has less number of members in the total population then that group is known as the minority group. Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Jains are the minority groups of our country.

Minority groups need more protection from the government because they are less in number. If they would not be given protection from the state then it is quite possible that they would be harassed and exploited by the majority group. It is also quite possible that, like Sri Lanka, ethnic conflict could start among various majority and minority groups. That is why minorities, in India, are given every type of protection by the state.

Q8. What is Communalism?


What is meant by communalism in the Indian context? (C.B.S.E. 2011)

Answer:- In common language, the word communalism means aggressive chauvinism based on religious identity. Chauvinism itself is an attitude which sees one’s own group as the only legitimate or worthy group, with other groups being seen as illegitimate, inferior and opposed. One of the major features of communalism is its claim that religious identity overrides everything else. Whether one is rich or poor, whatever is his occupation, caste or political beliefs, alone the religion counts in it.

Q9. What are the different senses in which secularism has been understood in India?

Answer:- Right from the beginning of 20th century, Indian society is constantly changing from a sacred society to a secular one. Many scholars of this century observed that India could remain united on the basis of secularism because people of many religions live over here. On the basis of secularism, all the religious groups and religious beliefs of a state are considered as equal.

The meaning of secularism is to remain away from all the religions and not to give preference to any particular religion. All the religions are equal before the state and no religion is discriminated on this base. Secularism is that concept or policy in which people are not being forced to obey any particular religion.

Q10. What is the relevance of Civil Society Organisations today? (C.B.S.E. 2012)


What is the role and significance of civil society in todays world? (C.B.S.E. 2017(D))

Answer:- The broad arena which lies beyond the private domain of the family, but outside the domain of both market and the state is known as Civil Society. It is the non-market and non-state part of the public domain in which individuals voluntarily come closer to each other and create institutions and organisations. It is a sphere of active citizens where individuals take up social issues, try to influence the state, pursue their collective interests and try to get support for a number of causes.

Voluntary associations, organisations, institutions formed by groups of citizens are included in it. Political parties, trade unions, media institutions, NGO’s, religious organisations and other types of collective entities are also included in it.

The main criteria for inclusion in Civil Society are that the organisation must not be controlled by the state and it should not be a purely commercial project-making entity such as private T.V. channels. A car making company is not a part of civil society but the trade union is. Of course, these criteria allow for a lot of grey areas. For example, a newspaper could be run as a purely commercial enterprise or an NGO could be supported by government funds.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Indian Society

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Social Change and Development in India

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