What Makes India a Nation?

Acharya Prashant
7 min readJan 23, 2022

The following excerpt is from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Sir, in what ways the youngsters of today have lost their love for the nation?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You cannot love someone or something you know very little of. The nation at its root represents a community of people united through certain values. For someone to really love the nation, it is important that he firstly knows what those values are. Those values must be worth loving, and even more fundamentally, certain values must exist, right? And those values cannot be just theoretical, ideals on paper.

So, what does the Indian nation stand for? When you say that youngsters of today have lost love for the nation, I would be interested in knowing what exactly they have lost love for. Do they know what the Indian nation stands for, and do they know what is worth loving?

See, a nation does not become admirable or respectable or lovable just by the dent of being a nation. You may very well have, theoretically, a nation that’s founded on hatred towards a group of people or something, right? And there are so many nations that have come into existence this very way; they exist because of a certain dislike towards something. We have had nations in history that existed just to obliterate other nations, and we have had nations where the connecting thread is as fragile as a shared language, shared ethnicity, shared food habits. So, a nation is not necessarily lovable on its own.

What is it that lies at the base of the Indian nation? Firstly, do we know that? Secondly, is it worth loving? We have to investigate these questions. What lies at the foundation of the Indian nation? Are we just a disparate group of people living politically together for the sake of convenience? If you say you are an Indian and I say I am an Indian, what connects and unites the two of us? Most people do not want to go into this. Most people are far more eager to talk of diversity than the underlying oneness because talking of diversity is easy, no? What you are saying is: “Oh, he has his own uniqueness, he has his own individuality, he has his own…

Acharya Prashant