Beneath the manifold diversities there was a fundamental unity among the Indians from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The distinctive type of culture introduced since the Vedic times in its abounding vitality has always acted as a unifying bond. There has been a basic unity of literary ideas, philosophy, outlook, conventions, and practices throughout the country. The fairs, festivals, religious ceremonies, dance forms, drama and music are all products of the same background in the north as well as the south. The sanctity of the family, the caste system, the social samskaras are also the same everywhere.

A remarkable feature of ancient Indian culture has been the commingling of cultural elements from north and south. The Aryan elements are equated with the Vedic and Sanskritic culture of the north and the pre-Aryan with the Dravidian and Tamil culture of the south. Many Dravidian and non-Sanskritic terms occur in the Vedic texts. Similarly, may Pali and Sanskrit terms signifying ideas and institutions of the north appear in the earliest Tamil texts called ‘Sangam Literature.

The concept of unity as developed in India can be understood only in the context of the working of Indian mind. It is related to an attitude, an approach to life and environment, a way of possessing a distinct set of moral and mental qualities and a sense of values. This has persisted throughout the ages, surviving the onslaught of all sorts of influences, external as well as internal. Jawaharlal Nehru observed, “Unity was not conceived as something imposed from outside, a standardization of external beliefs. It was something deeper and within its fold, the widest tolerance of belief and custom practised and every variety acknowledged and even encouraged.” These assimilating and all-absorbing attributes of Indian minds on the one hand and the acceptance of a common sense of values on things essential, and outlook on life on the other, have presented to the Indians a distinctive and integral character of their own, marking them out from the rest of the people of the world.

Indian culture is an organic and harmonious synthesis of a large number of human cultural trends and imperatives. It has a unique individuality of its own. Different peoples have come to India from the earliest times and have worked together to build up a great culture, which does not seek to exclude anything and is all-inclusive. It does not deny any people their right to self-expression. All the external elements have been preserved. The motto of Indian culture has always been expressed in the Rigvedic dictum ‘Ekam Sad, Viprabahudha Vadanti’ meaning Truth is one; only the sages call it variously”. Hence, it is almost of confederation of cultures. As a matter of fact the great culture of India is basically a synthesis of cultures, material, intellectual and spiritual.