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A nation is a collection of people occupying a particular portion of the earth’s surface, a territory they perceive as their homeland by right and who have a strong sense of unity based on similar historical experiences and a set of shared values, beliefs and attitudes that impart a high level of cultural and linguistic unity’. A nation implies a common culture, common symbols, and a particular view of the world which is distinct from other world views. What makes a nation different from other cultural groups, however, is that one of the symbols associated with its values and attitude is a particular piece of territory
State refers to political structure, a particular form of organisation of people and territory. In the broadest of terms, the state is a body of government. All the rules and laws, the government officials and their titles, the physical boundaries and those who define them – these make up the state. The state is what makes a country run from a political, practical standpoint.
Nation states must also have a shared national culture. This is often achieved through common language, history, holidays, and education. Sometimes national culture is a result of similar people living in the same area.
Taking Indian history into consideration, since the old times only we have been a very diverse. Be it in the terms of language, culture, traditions, race, or territorial difference (i.e. people living in different land terrain such as mountains, rivers, plains, plateaus), these all have influenced how we see ourselves as a nation or state.
Even at the time of The Great Ashok, who is known to expand his kingdom beyond the now known boundaries of our country India till Afghanistan in west and Bengal in east, we see different cultures coming under one governance. This perfectly describes how we have lived as a state right from ancient times.
Even now when we talk about the times of Mughal’s or even the English who colonized us and technically made us a uniformed nation as we are now, we look towards different cultures coming forward and fighting for freedom of their own from a well established governing body which again marks the Indian subcontinent as a state and not a nation.
Post-independence, India had to make a constitution and also divide different states. The idea being that all the states will work independently and also in coordination with the center. But when the time came for dividing the sates, the language, culture, ethnicity, regional beliefs and attitudes, etc. all were taken into consideration. And finally at the end we had different states or we should particularly say different small nations were born within the sovereign state of India.
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