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State, Nation Or Country - Identifying The Real

Abraham Lincoln gracefully said, A house divided against itself cannot stand.

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 empire).

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.
  1. Population: Population comprises of a considerable group of people present in the definite territory
  2. Territory : Territory constitutes of definite area on the surface of the earth on which the population resides.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 social order.

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 embodied unity.

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 states.

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.

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