The greatest challenge before independent India was one of keeping the nation together. 'Unity in diversity' became the catchphrase. Public speeches, school books, newspapers and the radio - all conveyed the same message. Irrespective of caste, creed or religion we are all one - Indians.
Slowly as the county is getting smaller keeping pace with the shrinking world, this dream is nearing fruition. But where are those little cultures disappearing? The dominant culture is slowly assimilating all others in its vicinity. The peculiar lifestyles have adopted a pan-Indian look. Earthy dialects are shrouded into silence in the cities and slowly fading from the countryside with each passing generation. The anglicised creole is the new lingua franca.
We all are fast becoming like each other, we all are becoming one - Indians. The passport will declare the citizenship, religion and mother tongue - need to be answered while filling up forms in this secular nation. But who are we beyond that? You may know, your daughter might also know, but will she be able to understand?