Multiculturalism describes the existence, acceptance, or promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction, usually considered in terms of the culture associated with an ethnic group. This can happen when a jurisdiction is created or expanded by amalgamating areas with two or more different cultures (e.g. French Canada and English Canada) or through immigration from different jurisdictions around the world (e.g. Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and many other countries).
Multicultural ideologies and policies vary widely, ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group to which they belong.
Multiculturalism that promotes maintaining the distinctiveness of multiple cultures is often contrasted to other settlement policies such as social integration, cultural assimilation and racial segregation. Multiculturalism has been described as a "salad bowl" and "cultural mosaic".
Two different and seemingly inconsistent strategies have developed through different government policies and strategies. The first focuses on interaction and communication between different cultures; this approach is also often known as interculturalism. The second centers on diversity and cultural uniqueness which can sometimes result in intercultural competition over jobs among other things and may lead to ethnic conflict. Cultural isolation can protect the uniqueness of the local culture of a nation or area and also contribute to global cultural diversity.[ A common aspect of many policies following the second approach is that they avoid presenting any specific ethnic, religious, or cultural community values as central.
Multiculturalism in India
According to the 1961 Census of India, there are 1652 indigenous languages in the country. The culture of India has been shaped by its long history, unique geography anddiverse demography. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality. The culture of India is an amalgamation of these diverse sub-cultures spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are several millennia old.The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed jātis or castes.
Religiously, Hindus form the majority, followed by Muslims. The statistics are: Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (2.1%), Buddhist, Bahá'í, Jain, Jew and Parsipopulations. Linguistically, the two main language families in India are Indo-Aryan (a branch of Indo-European) and Dravidian. In India's northeast, people speaking Sino-Tibetan group of languages such as Manipuri (Meitei-lon) recognized by the Indian constitution and Austroasiatic languages are commonly found. India (officially) follows a three-language policy. Hindi (spoken in the form of Hindustani) is the official federal language, English has the federal status of associate/subsidiary official language and each state has its own state official language (in the Hindi sprachraum, this reduces to bilingualism). Further, India does not have any national language. The Republic of India's state boundaries are largely drawn based on linguistic groups; this decision led to the preservation and continuation of local ethno-linguistic sub-cultures, except for the Hindisprachraum which is itself divided into many states. Thus, most states differ from one another in language, culture, cuisine, clothing, literary style, architecture, music and festivities.
India has encountered religiously motivated violence, such as the Moplah Riots, the Bombay riots, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the 2002 Gujarat riots, the 2012 Assam violence, and most recently, the 2013 Muzafarnagar violence in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This has resulted from traditionally disadvantaged communities in public employment such as the policing of the same locality, apprehension of owners in giving properties for sell or rent and of society in accepting inter-marriages.
India has the world's largest population of some non-Indian origin religions, such as Bahá'í Faith and Zoroastrianism.