Diversity & Inclusion

Nov 20, 2023 5 min read

Diversity & Inclusion: An Enduring Legacy in India's Journey

The author regularly contributes in various publications. MBA in HR from IIT Roorkee (DoMS), he was coordinator of Newspaper cell and Literary club in college. Author has also written for Times Of India and Business Standard.


In the quest to redefine the hiring recipe and recruit candidates beyond the resume, one integral aspect that should not be overlooked is Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). The concept of D&I is not a recent phenomenon but has roots deep in India's rich history, dating back to ancient times. This article will traverse through various epochs of India's history, from ancient to modern times, and draw inspiration from freedom struggles and contemporary ethical organizations, including Fortune 100 companies, to showcase how diversity and inclusion have been an enduring and transformative force.

Ancient India:

Ancient India was a melting pot of diverse cultures, languages, and religions. The concept of diversity was not just accepted but celebrated. The Mauryan Empire, under the reign of Emperor Ashoka, is a prime example of embracing diversity and practicing inclusion. Ashoka's edicts promoted religious tolerance, and his administration consisted of officials from different regions and backgrounds, emphasizing the importance of diversity in governance.

Medieval India:

During the medieval period, India continued to be a diverse and inclusive society, with various dynasties ruling different parts of the subcontinent. The Mughal Empire, in particular, stands out for its inclusive policies. Emperor Akbar's Din-iIlahi was an attempt to bring together people of various religions and foster cultural harmony. This policy demonstrated how diversity can lead to a richer and more prosperous society.

Modern India:

India's journey towards diversity and inclusion continued into the modern era. Mahatma Gandhi's leadership during the freedom struggle exemplified inclusivity as people from all walks of life, irrespective of caste, creed, or gender, came together to fight for independence. The Constitution of independent India, drafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, enshrined the principles of equality and social justice, laying the foundation for a diverse and inclusive nation.

Freedom Struggle:

The Indian freedom struggle was a testament to unity in diversity. Leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad emphasized the importance of inclusivity in the post-independence era. India's commitment to diversity and inclusion was reflected in its policies, including reservation for marginalized communities, ensuring that the benefits of development reached all sections of society.

Modern Ethical Organizations:

In the corporate world, modern ethical organizations have recognized the value of diversity and inclusion. Tata Group, an iconic Indian conglomerate, has consistently embraced diversity in its workforce. With a presence in various sectors, the Tata Group has set an example for other companies by promoting gender diversity, hiring individuals with disabilities, and fostering an inclusive work culture.

Fortune 100 Companies:

Several Fortune 100 companies operating in India have also championed D&I. Microsoft, for instance, has implemented inclusive hiring practices that focus on skills and potential rather than pedigree. The company actively encourages diversity in its workforce and strives to create an environment where employees from all backgrounds can thrive.


India's history, from ancient times to the present day, showcases the enduring legacy of diversity and inclusion. It is a testament to the idea that embracing differences and fostering inclusivity can lead to a more vibrant, prosperous, and equitable society. As organizations evolve their hiring strategies, they can draw inspiration from India's historical journey and the practices of ethical organizations and Fortune 100 companies to create a workforce that truly represents the diverse world we live in today. Embracing diversity and inclusion is not just a strategy for success; it is a reflection of our shared human values and aspirations.



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