How is Nationalism and Secularism Promoted through Education?
Anthony Smith stated nationalism as
“an ideological movement for attaining and maintaining autonomy, unity and identity for a population which some of its members deem to constitute an actual or potential “nation” (Smith, 2001).”
According to Hans Kohn,
“Nationalism is a state of mind, in which the supreme loyalty of the individual is felt to be due to the nation-state (Kohn, 1965).”
A nation consists of people with different caste, religion, culture, colour, creed, and language. Nationalism creates the feeling of oneness and common hood among the people of a country irrespective of the diversities. Nationalism promotes unity and brotherhood among the citizens of the nation.
According to Jim Herrick,
“Secularism in the largest sense means that people do not refer to religion to make decisions, to adopt policies, to run their lives, to order their relationships, or to impel their activities”.
Donald E. Smith stated,
“The secular State is a State which guarantees individual and corporate freedom of religion, deals with the individual as a citizen irrespective of his religion, is not constitutionally connected to a particular religion, nor does it seek to promote or interfere with religion”.
The concept of secularism means no discrimination against any religion or any person on account of his/her religion. Secularism means that the state cannot impose any religion on citizens and it should show equal respect to every religion.
Role of Education in promoting Nationalism and Secularism
- i). Education helps an individual to understand their rights and duties as citizens of the country.
- ii). Promote patriotism and unity among the countrymen.
- iii). Helps in strengthening national integration and promoting national progress.
- iv). Education cultivates socialism, secularism and democracy among the citizens of the country.
- v). Helps in achieving peace, prosperity and harmony in the nation.
- vi). Develops the tolerance and respect of different cultures and religious faiths in citizens.
- vii). Teaches people to treat everyone equally and give equal opportunities to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion, etc.
- viii). Helps to get rid of inequality, discrimination, injustice and poverty in society.
How can Nationalism and Secularism be achieved?
To achieve national integration bringing a sense of unity and common identity among the countrymen is essential. Everyone should be treated equally and given equal opportunities irrespective of their culture, religion, or caste.
There are several cultures in India. Understanding and valuing different cultures will strengthen the bond among the citizens. It will spread peace, harmony and tolerance in the country.
The people of the country need to be attached emotionally as one to achieve national integration. There needs to exist a feeling of oneness and unity for the nation.