7.NATION & DIVERSITY

"India is a land of diversity. The diversity is so much that many people across the world wonder how this land is able to remain intact till now. Even the British, as a matter of strategy, expressed doubts about the unity of the nation if given independence. After independence, there have been difficult times. But the nation withstood. We have the national song ’Jana gana mana ….’ referring to Punjab, Sindh, Gujarath, Maratha, Dravida, Utkala, Vanga…. As regions these are different. The learners will only be able to appreciate the richness and plurality of culture. This geographical diversity, along with linguistic and religious diversities can be appreciated if they are provided with appealing reading material in support of the nation and the greatness of its diversity."

Part-A: My Childhood

It is an excerpt from A P J Abdul Kalaam’s ‘Wings of Fire’. In this book, the former president of the nation narrates his childhood to the readers. His experiences with Hindu-Muslim interaction and his memories with his friend Ramanatha Sastry are really impressive. The war time memories of the writer and the description of Rameswaram of his childhood make everyone nostalgic. We feel like going back to the days of childhood or we tend to chew the cud of our childhood.

Part-B: A Plea for India

The poet portrays contemporary India with all its negative elements such as riots, terrorism, exploitation, corruption, etc. which make every one of us bend our head down out of shame. This is not the India we want. The poet appeals to the people to leave prejudices and become emotionally united. He exhorts the people of India not to be misguided by the forces that work with vested interests. The structure of the poem is a free verse. Yet, it is emotionally charged.

Part-C: Unity in Diversity of India

It is an essay about the heritage of India. It is basically an expository essay. The essay presents to us the different dance and art forms found in India. The essayist throws light on how Indian sages and their practices were able to influence the attitudes of people of the other countries. The essay finally exhorts us to hold fast to our rich heritage and values cherished by people of this ancient land.

Glossary

  • Erstwhile ( adj) : former
  • Undistinguished (adj) : not very interesting, successful or attractive
  • Ancestral (n) : the race of people that you come from
  • Austere (adj) : simple and plain
  • Orthodox (adj) : following closely the traditional beliefs and practices of a religion
  • Summon (v) : to order somebody to come to you
  • Conviction (n) : the act of finding somebody guilty of crime
  • Segregation (n) : the policy / act of separating people
  • Conservative (adj) : opposed to great/sudden social change
  • Ritual (n) : a series of actions, specially as a part of religious ceremony
  • Perturb (v) : to make worried/ anxious
  • Confront (v) : to deal with a problem/ situation
  • Optimism (n) : a feeling that good thing will happen
  • Plight (n) : a difficult or sad situation
  • Bicker (n) : argue about things that are not important
  • Pious (adj) : showing a deep respect for God and religion
  • Din (n) : a loud / unpleasant noise that lasts for a long time
  • Incite (v) : encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behaviour)
  • Ethnic (adj) : connected with / belonging to a nation, race or people that shares a cultural tradition
  • Myriad ( n) : an extremely large number of
  • babel (n) : the sound of many voices talking at time
  • Penetrate (v) : go into / through
  • Discern (v) : to know / recognize or understand
  • Convention (n) : the way in which most people do
  • Blend (v) : to mix two or more substances together
  • Dialects (n) : the form of a language that is spoken in one area
    sages (n) : wise people
  • seers (n) : people who claims that they can see what is going to happen in the future
  • Piety (n) : showing a deep respect for ( esp: for god / religion)
  • Penance (n) : an act that you give yourself to do
  • Contemplation (n) : the act of thinking deeply about
  • Generous : noble, magnanimous, liberal, kind
  • Sacred : consecrated, divine, holy, venerable
  • Convey : bear, bring, carry, transmit
  • Rigid : firm, hard, inflexible, stiff, unyielding
  • Rebel : mutiny, resist, revolt, strike
  • Bicker : dispute, jangle, quarrel, spar
  • Accompany : attend, convoy, escort, follow

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

  • on high cloud (idiom) : having strong feelings of happiness or satisfaction
  • end up (phr.v) : finish / come to an end

Antonyms

  • Ancestor x descendant
  • Orthodox x heterodox
  • Optimism x pessimism
  • Generosity x stinginess
  • Sacred x unholy, profane, secular
  • Rigid x flexible
  • Synthesis x analysis