Abraham Lincoln gracefully said, A house divided against itself cannot
There are billions of people in this world, hundreds of thousands within our
state, nation and country respectively, each with uniqueness and opposing view
on fundamental aspects of life. Normally, dissimilarities create division and
occasional conflict. However, we tend to forget that we all despite being
divided by territorial borders, ethnic groups, religion; have one common goal –
the betterment of the society we live in and its people. This is what brings
forth unity amongst different states, nations and countries.
The evolution of modern nation/state/country as a political organization took a
long period of time. Since ancient times human beings lived in communities. The
obvious fact is that human beings are social animals and they cannot live in
absolute isolation. They definitely belong to a society. The collective life
that they need assumes certain rules and regulations and gradually such a group
life has led to the formation of many political communities. In its earlier
form, the societies were very simple in its core organisation. From that simple
organisation it has not only evolved but has also grown into the modern complex
organization. Over the years it has acquired different forms depending on its
nature and has become a reality found everywhere.
The Concept Of A State:
A state is a form of political association, and is itself only one form of human
association. Other associations examples range from clubs to business
enterprises to churches. Human beings relate to each another, however, not only
in associations but also in various other collective arrangements, such as
families, neighbourhoods, cities, religions, cultures, societies, and nations.
The state is not the only form of political association, many others exist.
Other examples of political associations include townships, counties, provinces,
condominiums, territories, confederations etc. The state is the sole supreme
corporate entity because it is not incorporated into any other entity, even
though it might be subordinate to some other powers (such as another state or an
One state is differentiated from another by its having its own independent
structure of political authority, and an attachment to separate physical
territories. The state has 4 main elements, absence of either of them will
nullify the state.
- Population: Population comprises of a considerable group of people
present in the definite territory
- Territory : Territory constitutes of definite area on the surface of the
earth on which the population resides.
- Government: It is an agency or political organisation that carries out
the administration of the state. It is the agency through which people can
express their collective will.
- Sovereignty: It means the State is supreme over all individuals and
associations internally and is free from any other external control. It is
free to take decisions both internally and externally.
The state is mere association which, acting through the law just as
promulgated by the govt. endowed to the tip with such coercive powers, maintains
within a community territorially showcased the universal external conditions of
The Concept Of Nation:
A nation is officially defined as a group of people who share the same cultural
identity and links. A vital example of this can be the Basque people living in
Spain who consider themselves as a separate nation because they are ethnically
different from the rest of the population living there. A nation is often an
imagined society with the context being that any connections between the
population could be impersonal even if they subjectively feel a part of the
There is no universal and exact definition of a nation. Peoples with common
ethnic roots, language, religion, historical memory and therefore the explicit
desire to act as a political community actually structure a nation. But not all
nations vest the form of a sovereign territorial state in them. Nor are all the
states national states. So the term nation has a double meaning: nation as a
people emerging in history and conceiving themselves as a political subject, and
nation as a political and ideological nature construction.
This construction is often made by states that assume themselves as being the
political form of the nation. Still, there are many multinational states and
nations without a state, and on the other hand, homogeneous nations do not
really exist. They have all people of mixed origin, through immigration and
exchanges and transfers with neighbouring nations. Nearly all nation have
national minorities within their territory.
The Concept Of Country:
A country is a unified territory based on the agreement amongst all the states
within it. A country is basically a 'state' that appliesb to self-governing
political identities. The Russian Federation is a country, with all the states
within it following the same laws of the same government. These states are
smaller communities that all adhere to unitary federal government in the
country. The term country can refer to a sovereign state also. The degree of
autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely from country to country. Few
of them are possessions of sovereign states, such as French Polynesia.
Whereas others consist of a union of smaller polities which are considered
countries like the United Kingdom consisting of England, Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland. Accordingly, Republic of India or Bharat qualifies as a
country and not as a nation. India has peoples from multiple races, ethnicities,
cultures and languages. E.g. Gujarati people are ethnically, culturally,
linguistic different than the Bengalis, Tamils or other groups. Gujarati people
have common things among themselves and may form a nation. Therefore, India is a
country. Countries are socially constructed units, not given by the nature.
Their existence, definition, and members can change drastically based on
circumstances and are constrained by territorial limits.
In today's world either its state, nation or country exercise excess power over
the citizens and are voiced by governments within the interest of justifying
their failure to introduce even a few of their quite limited and once solemnly
promised social reforms. State, nation or perhaps a country having government
often behaves inefficiently due to being overburdened with all the work. It
often finds itself not much capable of meeting the pressure of work resulting
from the socio-economic-cultural functions that it has to perform as an agent of
the modern welfare state. The establishment of Nations/States/Countries made
them selfish and individualistic. The international interests were overlooked.
Sometimes the interests of various nations and states clashed and created an
environment of tussle and conflict.
Common territory and religion, common history and culture and customary
political aspirations are the elements which help the formation of a nation, and
yet none of those is an absolutely essential element. the elements which head to
build a nation keep on changing. Whereas, the state is formed from 4 elements,
if either of them nullifies, the state ceases to exist.
For example, after their defeat in the war II, both Germany and Japan lost their
sovereign statuses and outside powers began to manage them. They ceased to exist
as States. But as nations they continued to live as nations, which after some
months regained their sovereign statuses and have become sovereign independent
Hence, All societies are different in their own ways and sense, although after
being divided by territorial borders, race, ethnicities the core aim of all of
them should be to realize the milestone of humanity and service. Independent
civilizations are increasing and an aim should be made to compile these
different states, nations and countries into one unit to attain peace at global
level, so individual interests are overshadowed by collective interest of
humanity and mankind.
The terms "state," "nation," and "country" are often used interchangeably by
those who aren't aware with the proper use of these terms. But they are ways
apart from each other. A country is an area or region that has boundaries that
separates them from other countries and they also have their own governments. A
state, on the other hand, can be defined as an area within the constraints of a
country, and subject to the country's government; or it can alternately be used
as a term to refer to the country as a whole like the United States and other
States. Whereas, A nation consists of a distinct population of people which are
bound together by a common culture, history, and tradition who are typically
concentrated within a specific geographic region. For example, all Jewish
populace comprise a Jewish nation and different tribes of Native Americans are
considered nations, such as the Lakota.
The Quest For Identifying The Real?
Amongst all, State is closest to being real. A state is usually characterised by
of these four elements- population, territory, government, and sovereignty. it's
defined elements unlike the state which constitutes of individuals who have
unity and customary consciousness, which can be quite subjective. Common
territory, common race, common religion, common language, common history, common
culture and customary political aspirations are the aspects which help the
formation of a nation, and yet none of those is an absolutely essential element.
The State could even be a political organisation which ensures the security and
welfare needs of its people in the very true sense.
It's concerned with external human actions. it's a legal entity. But nation may
be a united unit of population which is filled with emotional, spiritual and
psychological bonds. A nation has little to try to to with the physical needs of
the people which isn't within the favour of the denizens. It's the sovereignty
that makes the state different from all other associations of the people. State
has police power, those who all disobey the laws and rules of the state are
punished by the state. A nation doesn't have police power or force or coercive
power. it's only by moral, emotional and spiritual power.
A state continuously pursues the aim of national- integration. The State tries
to secure this objective by securing a willing blending of the majority of
nationality and each one among the minority nationalities, through collective
living, sharing of all the ups and also the downs in common and development of
strong emotional, spiritual and psychological bonds. Unity in diversity or more
really, unity in plurality stands accepted as the guiding principle by all the
developing civilised multinational states like India, USA, Russia, China,
Britain and others. Hence, making the state real in its very true sense.