National integration is one of the most burning questions & problems of modern India. It has posed a tremendous threat & challenge to the very existence of India. History tells us that from long past India has never been a United country in the strict sense of the term. There was a temporary attempt of this unity in some parts of India Or a greater portion of the country during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, Samudragupta, Chandragupta II Or Vikramaditya, Kanishka & emperor Ashok. A greater unity was felt during the Muslim rule in India, especially at the time of Alauddin Khilji & Ghiasuddin Balban. During the Mughal period, except some areas in the north-east, south & west, most parts of the country were brought under a unified administration. The British succeeded in building a united, far more unified Indian empire than ever before. But this so-called unity in India during the Muslim & the British rule was a forced or artificial one. There was no popular government then. There was no scope of people’s say in the administration. As India was divided into many small & large kingdoms, mostly at enmity with one another, they fell easy prey to the foreign Muslim & British invaders.
The seed of succession was first sown in Indian soil when the Muslim league wanted an independent, separate homeland for the Muslims in India at the Lahore conference in 1940. After this, at the instigation of the British Government, the Muslim league succeeded in carving out a separate Muslim state, named Pakistan after a process of prolonged communal riots which claimed millions of innocent lives & many thousands crores worth of property. After partition & independence from the British rule on 15th August 1947. India turned into a multinational country with a heterogeneous ethnic group with different cultures, languages, religions & faiths. Despite all these, there was at least some kind of unity in diversity still coexisting. Also, there was at least some sort of unity in diversity still in existence. But unfortunately direct or indirect, covert or overt instigation of some insurgents within the country or from without having posed a serious challenge to this integration.
The scene of this disintegration started of this disintegration begun with the Khalistan movement in Punjab. Gradually this movement brought in its wake many terrorist activities. Pakistan helped these terrorist activities. Pakistan helped these terrorists directly & indirectly with arms to destabilize the integrity of India. The movement soon took the character of separatists & secessionist struggle. By dint of strict military step other measures, the Indian government succeeded in curbing the movement within a decade. Next came the terrorist & secessionist movement in Kashmir & Nagaland. The former one was directly backed by Pakistan. It resulted in the merciless killing of masses of innocent people, eviction of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits from their hearths, homes & property & destruction of many crores worth of Government and private property, buildings, bridges & some other means of communication.
Thus all these clearly show the problem of integration in free India now. The Indians who fought & struggled irrespective of caste, creed & linguistic varieties to free India from British domination in the past have forgotten their pledge & sacred duty, so to say, for national integration. The Central Government must face such a challenge with high-handed means & enough foresight at the same time. The linguistic & economic problems of the backward class tribals and some other ethnic groups must be taken into account. Autonomous rights must be granted to the provinces as far as possible.