Enhance Your WordPower

Several political concepts are often misunderstood or misconceived. For instance, people generally mistake ‘Nation’ for ‘State’ and vice versa. Similarly, country is often confused with State.

Nation: A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular territory, e.g., Germans. (قوم مثلاً جرمن قوم). A Nation is more known for a people living together in a particular territory.

State: A nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one Government, e.g., Germany (ریاست یا مملکت یا ملک مثلاً جرمنی). A State has definite borders, a political system, military and bureaucracy.

Nation-State: Most states today are inhabited by one people e.g., Germans live in Germany. But there are nations who do not have states e.g., Basques in Europe. And there are states which are not inhabited by a particular nation, e.g., United States of America and Israel which have people drawn from different nations which live under a State ruled by an elected Government. Similarly, Palestinians are a Nation, but their State is still not recognized as a full entity of a state. Then there are countries that have people speaking different languages but are bound by common history such as India, Malaysia, Russia etc. These are gradually turning into a Nation(قومی ریاست).

Country: The territory of a Nation or State e.g., France (ملک یا مملکت)

Patriotism: The sense of devotion to the country of one’s origin or residence. (حب الوطنی)

Nationalism: Devotion to the culture and interests of one’s nation (قوم پرستی)

Nationality: Formal status of being the citizen of a State. In most cases it is decided by birth, or origin or by acquiring citizenship after immigration. (قومیت)

Secularism: A system which rejects the role of religion in state affairs. But there are secular states like India where all religions are equally respected by law and some religious customs are also officially recognized(لادینی نظام).

Pluralism: A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious or cultural groups are present and are tolerated. (تکثیریت)

Republic: A political order where power lies with people who elect their representatives to govern them. They are governed by a Constitution. Rulers are regularly elected. There are countries that have Constitution but are monarchies e.g., Australia. These are called Constitutional Monarchies. Here the monarch acts as non-political head of State. (جمہوریہ)

Monarchy: A State ruled and headed by a King who has all the powers vested in him/her, e.g., Saudi Arabia. (بادشاہت یا شہنشاہیت)

Sultanate: It is an Arabic or Urdu alternative of monarchy(سلطنت) .

Fascism: Type of government where power is centralized by a dictator and civil liberties are suppressed, e.g., North Korea. (فسطائیت)

Dictatorship: Any form of government where one person has absolute power. (آمریت)

Democracy: Type of Government where representatives are elected to a central body and laws are enacted as per wishes of the people. (جمہوریت)

Sovereignty: Supremacy of authority or rule. (حاکمیت یا اقتدارِ اعلٰی)

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