Ours is a land of unity in diversity. Its large size has given rise to different types of regional diversities and they are flourishing. The geographical features of the country and its climate have contributed to the development of these diversities.
Since the earliest days of the human progress India proved to be a crucible of ethnic groups. The pre- Aryans, Indo-Aryans, Greeks, Scythians, Hunas, Turks, etc., made India their home. Each ethnic group contributed its mite to the evolution of Indian social system, art and architecture, and literature.
All these peoples and their cultural traits mixed up so inextricably with one another that at present none of them can be clearly identified in their original form.
India has since ancient times been the land of several religions. Ancient India witnessed the birth of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism; but all these cultures and religions intermingled and acted and reacted upon one another in such a manner that though people speak different languages, practise different religions, and observe different social customs, they follow certain styles of life throughout the country. Our country shows a deep underlying unity in spite of great diversity.
Another notable fact is that the ancient epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were studied with the same zeal and devotion in the land of the Tamils as in the intellectual circles of Banaras and Taxila. Originally composed in Sanskrit, these epics came to be presented in different local languages. But whatever the form in which Indian cultural values and ideas were expressed, the substance remained the same throughout the country.
Indian history deserves our attention because of a peculiar type of social system which developed in this country. In north India rose the Varna/caste system which came to prevail almost all over the country. The caste system affected even the Christians and the Muslims. The converts belonged to some caste, and even when they left Hinduismtojoin the new religion they continued to maintain some of their old caste practices.