For the last one decade, there has been a trend to consistently emphasize the phenomenon of multiculturalism on our cultural, social and political consciousness by first censoring and then liquidating our idea of unity and diversity. Historically, support for modern multiculturalism stems from the changes in Western societies after World War II. Regarding the origin of the term multiculturalism, impacts of Swiss or Canadian cultural influences have been limited. Although America has exerted powerful cultural influence to export such an ideology since civil rights movement in the sixties, its most ardent supporters across the world have been left-wingers. Data from PEW research showed that more than 70 per cent of people in 10 European Union countries surveyed said multiculturalism made their country either a “worse” place to live, or made “no difference” at all. In Greece, 63 per cent of respondents said increasing diversity had made their country a worse place to live. In Italy, 53 per cent held a similar view.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich in February 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron launched a devastating attack on multiculturalism in Britain, warning it is fostering extremist ideology and Islamic terrorism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in October 2010 that the multicultural idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work. Later, in December 2015, she said multiculturalism leads to parallel societies. French president Nicolas Sarkozy admitted in February 2011 that multiculturalism did not lead to integration and has failed in France. He said, “Our Muslim compatriots should be able to live and practice their religion like anyone else .. but it can only be a French Islam and not just an Islam in France.” Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar have also perceived that multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants in their countries.
In April 2014, a paper was released by the Ministry of Culture in Russia entitled ‘Fundamentals of the State Cultural Policy’. The authors assert that the basis of cultural policy should be the idea that ‘Russia is not Europe’. They called for the abandonment of the Western cult of liberalism, specifically noting that “multiculturalism” is dangerous to the Russian society, and projects which are not consistent with traditional Russian values must be deprived of all state support. The paper was signed by Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Aristarhova and submitted for consideration to the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. On March 2016, Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service, said, “multiculturalism has failed”.
Chinese approach to multiculturalism can be understood from the extreme measures adopted by Communist state to suppress alternative views, such as looting and destroying Buddhist monastries, eliminating scientists, students and writers who speak against Communist party policies which was witnessed at Tibet and Tiananmen Square. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, two epochs of the communist era, never tolerated alternative opinion and opposition.
Japan with its ideology of homogeneity, has rejected any move to recognise ethnic differences in Japan. Former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has called Japan a single nation.
In his remarkable book ‘Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity’, the Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington notes that multiculturalism is “anti-European civilization… . It is basically an anti-Western ideology.” The multiculturalists claim to be fostering a progressive cultural cosmopolitanism distinguished by superior sensitivity to the downtrodden and dispossessed. In fact, they encourage an orgy of self-flagellating liberal guilt as impotent as it is insatiable. The “sensitivity” of the multiculturalist is “an index not of moral refinement but of moral vacuousness”.
Beyond its outward claims of equality and oppurtunities, it is important to understand the targets of multiculturalism. Rene Cuperus in his paper presented at the conference ‘European Approaches to Multiculturalism and Integration’, organised by The Smith Institute and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, on June 7, 2011, precisely summarized it. He said “Multiculturalism has a two-fold implicit message. A false comforting message to newcomers/migrants: ‘you do not have to integrate in or adapt to your new home country’. And a disrupting message to the ’native population’: your ‘majority culture’ will in the future just be one of many multicultures.”
Professor Olivier Roy, an eminent French scholar on contemporary Islam, has explicitly declared that both assimilation and multiculturalism have failed. The Council of Europe, Guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights, on February 16, 2011 has backed the growing number of heads of government denouncing multiculturalism as a failure, warning that it poses a threat to security. Thorbjørn Jagland, secretary-general of the council, in an interview with the Financial Times on November 2014 said, “Multiculturalism allows parallel societies to develop within states, since some parallel societies have developed radical ideas that are dangerous such as terrorism.”
To gain acceptance for the theory, the Left and associated religious groups have been recently manufacturing historical records and archaeological evidence
Since last one decade the left and liberals in India have been consistently arguing that India is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society. After the early theory of multi nationalism in India put forward by the left failed, their new agenda is the indoctrination of multiculturalism.. At a seminar organised by the AKG Centre for Research and Studies to commemorate the first death anniversary of EMS Namboodiripad in 1999, Marxist idealogues stressed on the need of multiculturalism in India. Delivering the keynote address on ‘Future of secular democracy and the media’, N Ram, the editor of Frontline, said, “India is nothing if it is not multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multinational.” Multiculturalism is the major tool of left historians as evident from a lecture delivered at Left-controlled Kerala Council of Historical Research in Kerala on March 2002 by Romila Thapar. Amartya Sen’s 2006 treatise Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny puts forward the concept of multiple identity and roles at the individual level as a critique of Samuel Huntington’s seminal work The Clash of Civilizations. In November 2010, Marxist historian Perry Anderson was invited by the Left government to speak on ‘Multiculturalism in a Globalised World’ at the University of Kerala. In 2010, at the International Seminar on Languages organized by the Left government in Kerala a principal invitee was Yusuf Al-Quradawi, a Qatar-based Islamic scholar, who also allegedly served as the intellectual basis for the al-Qaida.
India’s cultural diversity has sustained and is preserved by its integrating unity. Had this unity been non-existent, India’s diversity would never have blossomed. Had this unity perished, the diversity of India would have been wiped out long back. She has practised this tradition of pluralism giving birth to 108 Upanishads instead of one, various systems of philosophy instead of one, six major religious cults and numerous minor ones instead of one and a plethora of deities instead of single dominating deity. Inter religious treaties, agreement, settlements, pacts, accords, and concords are yet unknown in India. The zealous propaganda for multiculturalism by the Left and liberals in India has to be discarded. What the world has discarded cannot be imported into India to be enshrined in its socio political framework. When the Aryan invasion theory failed, it was replaced with Aryan migration. After Aryan Dravidian invasion and migration theories failed, it is now substituted with multiculturalism. To gain acceptance for the theory, the Left and associated religious groups have been recently manufacturing historical records and archaeological evidence.
This has much relevance since the idea of nation and nationhood has been the seminal theme of recent debates and disputes. There is an emerging trend to truncate and wipe out national consciousness with multiculturalism.