Three themes have run through this book. We have discussed India’s diversity, revealed areas of change and demonstrated how and why India’s national identity matters. India’s extreme diversity and the richness and variety that result from it create opportunities and challenges but India has long been challenged by its diversity. Contemporary India still grapples with important social and regional differences and the demand for the creation of new states and continuing violence among certain sections of religious groups in particular areas of India demonstrate this all too well. The case of Kashmir is far from resolved and violence sporadically breaks out in the Valley. Violence is also a regular occurrence in the north east of the country where calls for autonomy, separatism or statehood abound. The Naxalite violence in the ‘red corridor’ is also a serious challenge to the security of India’s citizens. But, as we have been at pains to point out, to acknowledge that India is consumed by tensions between different groups does not mean that this is the reality of existence in contemporary India for the vast majority of Indians. The diversity of India and the existence of numerous cross-cutting cleavages such as caste, class, gender, region, religion and language is a force for stability rather than instability (Manor, 1996).
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