Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-mhx7p Total loading time: 0.22 Render date: 2022-05-22T14:55:01.167Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Article contents

IV. Unity and Diversity in India and Indonesia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2010

J.C. Heesterman
Affiliation:
University of Leiden

Extract

When we intone the words ‘Unity in Diversity’, we know we are faced with a problem. At best these words express an aspiration rather than a reality — otherwise it would hardly be worthwhile to utter them. But most of all they seem to be an incantation meant to exorcize the threat of both disruptive diversity and oppressive unity. It is, in other words, a mantra that owes its expressiveness to the neatly concise formulation of an unresolved paradox. It is concerned with the cosmogonic conundrum of the One-and-the-Many that has exercised the mythopoeic imagination of the Vedic seers and their likes as well as the rational mind of present-day physicists. Our mantra, then, evokes the riddle of the cosmic order which must encompass its opposite, disorder, so as to be truly universal. It is not surprising, therefore, that we should encounter the same paradox on the more mundane level of the political order. The manyfold diversities undermine the integrity of the whole. Unity, in its turn, threatens to extinguish diversity and to replace it with deadening sameness. Between them, unity and diversity provide for an unpredictable dynamic, and it is a fitting tribute to the dangers involved that our mantra has been enshrined in its Indonesian form in the Republic's armorial motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute for History, Leiden University 1986

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Harrison, S S, India the Most Dangerous Decades (Princeton 1960) 5,CrossRefGoogle Scholar referring to Staley, E, The Future of the Underdeveloped Countries (New York 1954) 174Google Scholar.

2 Cohn, Cf B S, ‘Regions Subjective and Objective’, in Crane, R I ed, Regions and Regionalism in South Asia (Durham, N C 1966) 537. Cohn points out that ‘regions are far from fixed, enduring things, especially if any historical perspective is taken’Google Scholar.

3 Quoted by Harrison, S S, India, 3Google Scholar.

4 Cf Raeside, I, ‘A Note on the “Twelve Mavals” of Poona District’, Modern Asian Studies 12 (1976)393417CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Bakhar, More, Parasnis, D B, Itihāsasamgraha 10 (may 1909),Google Scholar Aitihasik Sphut Lekh 7, 22-23.

6 Ranade, M G, Rise of the Maratha Power (Bombay 1900)3Google Scholar.

7 Cf Wink, A, Land and Sovereignty in India under the Marātha Svarājya (thesis Leiden 1984)421Google Scholar.

8 Ibidem, 27–46.

9 Quotcd by J Giant Duff, History of the Mahrattas vol. I (reprint, New Delhi 1977)548.

10 Cf Wink, A, ‘Sovereignty and Universal Dominion in South Asia’, Indian Economic and Social Historical Review 21 (1984) 265292CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 Report of the States Reorganization Commission (Delhi 1955) 91Google Scholar.

12 For a brief survey, cf Geertz, H, ‘Indonesian Cultures and Communities’, in McVey, R, Indonesia (New Haven 1963) 2496Google Scholar.

13 Cf jong, P E de josselin de, ‘The Dynastic Myth of Negri Sembilan’, Bijdragen Taal, Landen Volkenkunde 131 (1975)277308CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 This figure will be exaggerated, but the membership will at least have run into hundreds of thousands, cf Dahm, B, Sukarno and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence (Ithaca 1969) 13fGoogle Scholar.

15 Cf Resink, G J, Indonesia's History between the Myths (The Hague 1968) 307323Google Scholar.

16 Cf Angelino, A D A de Kat, Staatkundig Beleid en Bestuurszorg in Nederlandsch Indie vol 11 (The Hague 1930) 103 nGoogle Scholar.

17 Cf J S. Furnival, Netherlands India (reprint, Cambr idge 1967) 293-295.

18 Gerhard, D, ‘Regionalismus und Standisches Wesen als em Giundthema Europaischer Geschichte’, Historische Zeitschrift 174 (1952) 307337CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

IV. Unity and Diversity in India and Indonesia
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

IV. Unity and Diversity in India and Indonesia
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

IV. Unity and Diversity in India and Indonesia
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *