Civics - Class 6

Our Past - I

Chapter 1: Understanding Diversity

Intext Questions:

Question 1. What does diversity add to our lives?

Answer:Diversity is dissimilarity in the way of our lives. It is observed in religious functions, in the festivals, in language, etc. One thing is unique about diversity is that it teaches us to live and adjust ourselves in broad society. Our Constitution believes in respect to all human beings in a similar way. Diversity makes us tolerant and just. We know how to behave with other people belonging to different caste, creed or culture.

Question 2. How did India become like this?

Answer:India is home to different to cultures, languages, religions, traditions because of its rich cultural heritage from past. India was ruled by many different kings with varied diversities. India embraced all those diversities into its culture.
India’s diversity is a source of its strength. Women and men from different cultural, religious and regional backgrounds came together to oppose British Rule in India. India’s freedom movement involved thousands of people from different backgrounds.

Question 3. Are all kinds of difference a part of diversity?

Answer:No, not all kinds of difference a part of diversity. Diversity appears in social context, physical appearances, cultural, racial, religious, age, gender, disability, etc.

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Question 4. Can diversity also be a part of unity?

Answer:Yes, India is the best example to this. Indian unity is not imposed from the outside but rather, “It was something deeper and within its fold, the widest tolerance of belief and custom was practised and every variety acknowledged and even encouraged.” It was Nehru, who coined the phrase, “unity in diversity” to describe the country.

Question 5. Fill out the following information about yourself


  1. When I go out I like wearing Salwar Kameez.
  2. At home, I speak in the Telugu language.
  3. My favorite sport is Chess.
  4. I like reading books about the great people.

Question 6. Name three ways in which Samir Ek and Samir Do were different? Did these differences prevent them from becoming friends?

Answer:The three ways in which Samir Ek and Samir Do different were:

  1. Samir Ek goes to school every day. Samir Do doesn’t know about the school. He is a newspaper seller on the roadside.
  2. Samir Ek is a Hindu where as Samir Do is a Muslim.
  3. Samir Ek comes from a well to do family. Samir Do has to earn his living since childhood. He belongs to poor family.
No, this difference does not prevent them from becoming friends. They became friends and shook hands warmly.

Question 7. Make a list of the festivals that might have been celebrated by the two boys.

Samir Ek:
Samir Do:

Answer:The festivals that might have been celebrated by the two boys were:

Samir Ek:

  1. Diwali
  2. Holi
  3. Dusshera
  4. Sri Rama Navami
  5. Ganesh Chaturdhi

Samir Do:

  1. Bakrid
  2. Muharram
  3. Id-ul-Zuha
  4. Birthday of Prophet Mohammad

Question 8. Can you think of a situation inwhich you made friends withsomeone who was very differentfrom you? Write a story thatdescribes this.

Answer:Every day I go to the park to play in the evening. I saw a girl, about my age, sitting under a tree and studying. I was returning home, and we passed a smile. The next day, I asked her name and exchanged greetings, in which school does she study and in which class. She was studying in a nearby school and she was fond of reading storybooks. I lent my storybooks and I saw that she read a story every day.

Question 9. Why do you think Samir Do did not attend school? Do you think it would have been easy for him to attend school if he wanted to? In your opinion is it a fair situation that some children get to go to school and others don't?

Answer:Samir Do did not attend school because he has to earn money for his living from childhood. He has no idea about school. His parents cannot afford for his schooling.
I think it is not easy for Samir Do to attend school if he wanted because his parents do not have enough money to join him in school. In my opinion it is not a fair situation where some children get opportunities to study and others do not. Right to education is the primary right of children. They should get equal opportunities to attend school.

Question 10. Make a list of the food that you have eaten from different parts of India.

Answer:The food eaten from different parts of India are:

  1. Kawhatea
  2. Sarson ka sag and Makai ki roti
  3. Bajra ki roti and jaggery
  4. Dhokla and Khandvi
  5. Rasogolla
  6. Idli and Dosa

Question 11. Make a list of the languages besides your mother tongue that you can speak at least one or two words of.

Answer: Odia- Odisha
Tamil- Tamilnadu
Malayalam- Kerala
Kannada- Karnataka

Question 12. Imagine that you are a writer or an artist who lives in the place described above. Either write a story or draw a picture of your life here. Do you think you would enjoy living in a place like this? List five different things that you would miss the most if you lived here.

Answer: The story of the writer will be like-
Once upon a time there lived a small farmer in Avanti Kingdom. He sowed potatoes in his field. He has two pet animals Cat and Deer. The farmer used to exchange his sack of potatoes for red and white cotton clothes. In the same way other people in the kingdom lived very happily and peacefully. They used to play snake and ladders in their pass time.
Suddenly, one day there occurred a famine which destroyed the potatoes crop. The whole kingdom went into food crisis. Our small farmer also sold his pet animals cat and deer. Still he couldn’t come out of the crisis. So he went to his relatives house in the neighbouring kingdom where he saw different coloured clothes, wide variety of food crops and animals.
He immediately realised the main reason for crisis in his kingdom. So, he went back to his kingdom and explained the king about the importance of diverse food items, animals which helps in the kingdom to come out of the crisis. The thoughtful king listened to him carefully and agreed to his words. He immediately ordered all farmers to cultivate different crops. He rewarded our small farmer with lots of gold. Thereafter, his kingdom never went into crisis.

I don’t enjoy living in that place.
I would surely miss -

  1. mobile
  2. telephone
  3. colourful nature like butterflies, rainbow, etc.,.
  4. Dresses and
  5. Varieties of food

Question 13. List at least three different ways in which people in India do the following. One of the possible answers has been provided for you already.


1 2 3
Different ways in which people pray. Through singing a hymn. People close their eyes and join their hands and recite the prayers for themselves. People sit in rows on the ground and the Maulvi leads leads the prayer.
Different ways in which people get married. Through exchange of garlands and taking seven pheras around a sacred fire in presence of relatives and friends. Through singing a register in the court. Nikah, in which the boy and girl confirm that they want to get married.
Different ways in which people dress. In Punjab women wear suits of salwar and kameez. In West Bengal women wear sarees. In Manipur women wear a fanek.
Different ways in which people greet each other. In Punjab Sikhs say Sasriys kar. In Jharkhand many adivasis say "johar" to greet each other. In Delhi people greet each other by saying 'Namaste'.
Different ways in which people cook rice. By making Biryani with meat or vegetables. By making lemon rice, with some dal, fried in oil. By boiling rice in plain water.

Question 14. Look at the map of India in an Atlas and locate Kerala and Ladakh. Can you list three ways in which the different geographical locations of these two regions would influence the following?


  1. The food people eat:

    Kerala is situated near the sea and people may be eating rice and fish. Ladakh is a mountainous country where little agriculture is available. People eat meat and milk products like cheese and butter.

  2. The clothes they wear:

    Kerala is near the sea where the climate is neither hot nor cold throughout the year. People wear light cotton clothes.Ladakh: It is a mountainous country, where it is very cold and is covered with snow for a large part of the year. They wear thick woolen clothes made of wool or animal skin.

  3. Work they do:

    In Kerala people are engaged in agriculture and fishing. In Ladakh people look after the animals, collect wool from the sheep and sell them to the traders.

Question 15. India’s national anthem, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, is another expression of the unity of India. In what way does the national anthem describe this unity?

Answer:The national anthem is the expression of India’s unity and sovereignty. It is sung in all parts of India. It is our national anthem where people from varied backgrounds, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex stand up and sing in unison, paying respect and gratitude to the country. It captures the very essence of our country.

Whenever it is sung, in any part of the country, people stand in attention position, with their heads held high. It is sung on the occasion of the celebration of national festivals in any part of the country.People in all parts of the country follow the national anthem and do not do anything to dishonour it.


Question 1. Draw up a list of the different festivals celebrated in your locality. Which of these celebrations are shared by members of differentregional and religious communities?


Lohri Hindus
Holi Hindus
Id-ul-Zuha Muslims
Easter Christians
Raksha Bandhan Hindus
Dussehra Hindus
Diwali Hindus
Christmas Christians
Id-ul-Milad Muslims

Question 2. What do you think living in India with its rich heritage of diversity adds to your life?

Answer:India is a country with a rich heritage of diversity. People here belong to various religions, speak different languages, wear different clothes, and eat different things, among other diversities. However, despite all this, we unite together as Indians. We share the same national symbols, national virtues, and feelings.
Being an Indian it adds ethical values like the divine ideal of “Sarva dharma sambhava”, which means that we have the virtue of respecting all religions since all religions are one.

Question 3. Do you think the term "unity in diversity" is an appropriate term to describe India? What do you think Nehru is trying to say about Indian unity in the sentence quoted above from his book TheDiscovery of India?

Answer:‘Unity in Diversity’ is an appropriate term to describe India because India is a vast country with lofty mountains on the north and seas and oceans on three sides. These geographical conditions have helped to shape the lifestyle of the people. This diversity can be seen in

  1. The language they speak
  2. The food that they eat
  3. The clothes that they wear
  4. The type of houses that they live in
  5. The types of occupation that they follow.
In spite of these geographical differences, they are influenced by similar historical developments. The people from different parts of India rose up and protested against British rule. Both Hindus and Muslims lay down their lives at the Jallianwallah Bagh, in Amritsar. When India got independence our Constitution was framed by the Constituent Assembly whose membership consisted of people from different sections of the society.
Nehru in his hook ‘Discovery of India’ wrote India was always united in spite of geographical, religious, and cultural differences. Indian unity is not something imposed from outside but it is something deeper and within its fold, the widest tolerance of beliefs and customs was practiced and variety acknowledged and even encouraged.

Question 4. Underline the line in the poem sung after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which according to you, reflects India's essential unity.

Answer: According to me, the following line reflects India’s essential unity:

The blood of Hindus and Muslims flows together today.”

Question 5. Choose another region in India and do a similar study of the historical and geographical factors that influence the diversity found there. Are these historical and geographical factors connected to each other? How?

Answer:The two regions are:

  1. Rajasthan: It is a desert country, it is one of the border states of India. Rajputs are a martial race. Agriculture is very difficult and coarse grains like Jowar and Bajra are grown. The main means of transport are camels. People build houses with flat roofs and verandahs to keep the dusty winds away.
  2. Tamilnadu: It is a state on the seacoast of India. It has a moderate climate throughout the year, with rainfall during the winter season. It is fertile land and people grow rice and vegetables. Fishing is the main occupation of the people. Rice and fish are the staple diet of the people. They build houses on higher ground with slanting roofs, so that the rainwater can easily drain.
Yes, the historical and geographical factors are closely connected. Rajasthan is a border state and Rajputs are a martial race. Tamilnadu is located on the Bay of Bengal, far away from the influence of the invaders. People are peace-loving and gentle.