NCERT Class 6 Civics Understanding Diversity

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Chapter 1

Understanding

Diversity

Three children around your age have drawn the figures above. Use the empty box to draw your human figure. Is your drawing similar to any of the others? The chances are that your drawing is quite different from the other three, which you can see are quite different from each other. This is because each one of us has a unique drawing style. We not only don't look exactly like each other but also differ in terms of the language we speak, our cultural backgrounds, the religious rituals we observe and, of course the way we draw!

Now ask your teacher to help you check, how many of you have similar answers. Is there anyone whose list matches yours exactly? Probably not. But many of you may have similar answers. How many like reading the same kind of books? How many different languages are spoken by the students in your class? By now you must have recognised the many ways in which you are quite like some of your classmates and other ways in which you are different from them.

Making friends

Do you think it would be easy for you to make friends with someone who was very different from you? Read the following story and think about this. I had meant it as a joke. A joke made up for a small ragged boy who sold newspapers at the Janpat crossing at the busy intersection.

Every time I cycled past he would run after me, holding out the English paper and screaming out the evening's headlines in a mixture of Hindi and English words. This time, I stopped by the pavement and asked for the Hindi paper. His mouth fell open.

"You mean you know Hindi?" he asked.

"Of course," I said as I paid for the paper. "Why? What did you think?" He paused. "But you look so…so angrez," he said. "You mean you can even read Hindi?" "Of course I can," I said, this time a little impatiently. "I can speak, read and write Hindi. Hindi is one of the subjects I study in school."

"Subjects?" he asked. How could I explain what a subject was to someone who had never been to school? "Well, it is something…" I began, but the lights changed, and the honking behind me grew a hundredfold and I let myself be pushed along with the rest of the traffic.

QUESTIONS

1. Draw up a list of the different festivals celebrated in your locality. Which of these celebrations are shared by members of different regional and religious communities?

2. What do you think living in India with its rich heritage of diversity adds to your life?

3. Do you think the term "unity in diversity" is an appropriate term to describe India? What do you think Nehru is trying to say about Indian unity in the sentence quoted above from his book The Discovery of India 

4. Underline the line in the poem sung after the Jallianwalla massacre, which according to you, reflects India's essential unity.

5. Choose another region in India and do a similar study of the historical and geographical factors that influence the diversity found there. Are these historical and geographical factors connected to each other? How?


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