National Integration was defined by the first National Integration Conference of India as:
“a psychological and educational process……… involving the development of a feeling of unity; solidarity and cohesion in the hearts of the people, a sense of common citizenship (destiny) and a deep feeling of loyalty to the nation.”
It involves territorial integration, emotional integration, political integration, cultural integration, elite-mass integration and integrative behaviour of the people. In-fact, national integration means the inculcation of a spirit of unity in diversity emotional integration of all the people into a national team.
For a multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-caste, multi-regional and multi-cult society like India, national integration is a cardinal necessity. A harmonious willing integration of the majority and minority communities in the national ma stream, a rational and objective view of national problems, a consensus in respect of; shared objectives of our polity, a commitment to rise above narrow minded distinctions, bigotism, communalism and regionalism, and the development of the ability to act a united and disciplined nation, together constitute the central theme of Nation Integration in India.
It does not mean absorption and assimilation, instead it mea unity in diversity. Diversity or pluralism is to be preserved and developed as an ass Diversity is not to be permitted to hinder the process of Nation-building.
The farmers of the Constitution of India were wise enough to describe in Preamble of the Constitution. Justice Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as the objectives before the nation. To secure for all the people of India, Justice—social, economic and political. Liberty of thought expression belief faith and worship. Equality of status and opportunity and fraternity meaning the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation, have been the key objectives of the Indian State.
For securing the objective of National Integration, a three dimensional strategy was adopted—Social-building, Economic-building and Democracy-building. Securing of Secularism, Social Justice and Economic Development were considered to be the key means for securing national integration and nation-building.