What sets humans apart from other species is the society and our sense of community. As cave-dwellers, we hunted and fought much stronger animals. As a civilization, we build cities, canals, forts and roads. The strength of being a human comes from the fact that we can collaborate, work and mingle with people who are not genetically related to us. Traders, settlers and scholars moved from one region to another exchanging ideas and creating the flow of knowledge.
During the Dark ages, trade and travel was stopped and people build up walls and stopped all interactions with Asia and rest of the world. This led to widespread stagnations in the society and standard of living actually deteriorated in this period. The integration of culture and adoption of the ideas from the Muslim (Moslem) world brought in a renaissance (revolution) in the society and spurred us to the modern age.
Modern transport and communications have enabled people to travel far and wide. We can be in touch with people across geographical boundaries, but there is a long way to go before there is an actual assimilation leading to one global village. The biggest threat arising due to lack of integrated communities is communalism. From the childhood, we are taught not to talk to strangers. But after a certain age, you need to break this cocoon and reach out for the world. Since we have suspicion even after a thousand years of peaceful co-existence, fascists were able to channelize it to there own personal glory spurring the most destructive war. In India situation has just gone out of control. The ranks of both hindu fanatics and muslim jehadis are swelling and with each passing day, we witness either terrorist bombing or a communal violence.
What pains me the most is that we destroyed whatever communal harmony that existed. My grandfather did his entire education in Urdu. My uncle married a Muslim girl from Pakistan without much resistance from both the families. Today I cannot even imagine of a Hindu learning Urdu or of a marriage across the border.
In the name of purity of blood and preservation of culture we have made a mockery of ‘unity in diversity’. My only argument for them is that only the dead needs to be preserved. Like an alloy is always stronger than the constituent metals, culture becomes rich when societies are merged. I strongly believe that lack of assimilation of people is the biggest threat faced by humanity. Relationships are still being made on the basis of ethnicity, caste, creed or religion and people are living in an imaginary world by surrounding themselves with the news and information about what they want to hear rather than what the truth is. All long speeches about teamwork and ‘ Vasudhev Kutumbhkum’ (Earth is a family) are hollow unless we can integrate the minorities and immigrants (who in some cases just relocated generations ago from another part of the same country) living next door.