We really do not know if India can ever do away with one term and one notion, the secularism, and religion, however, the beginning has been witnessed from the most southern state of India, where almost 1.24 Lakh students enrolled themselves without mentioning their religion or cast.
It would be little outrageous to recognize these students as “Secular”, however, there is a reason for the nation to cheer and appreciate the new initiative that sets the new social benchmark against class-biased events taking place in India.
Off late, this has been the trend in the most educated state of India not to mention the caste or religion in the registration form of the school admission leaving the column empty.
There is no precise record as for how the trend has begun in the first place, but the education minister of Kerala, Professor C Ravindranath informed the state assembly in his written reply that about 1.24 Lacs students kept the columns related to caste and religion blank while submitting their form to the schools.
123,630 students studying between standard 1 and 10 chose not to mention their religion or cast keeping columns empty. The number of standard 11 and 12 is respectively 278 and 239, the minister’s written reply suggested.
The enthusiastic education minister said, “This figure is proof of the secular texture of Kerala society.”
The trend is not limited to the students as it is quite understandable that these students can not act on their own ithout the consent of their parents. There are few high profile names, who have taken such step in the past. CPIM MP MB Rajesh and Congress MLA VT Balram have left religion column blank.
The initiative got the major boost when a state footballer player from ISL Kerala Blasters team, CK Vineeth wrote NIL in the religion column of his newborn. He said his son will be free to decide his religion on his own when he will grow.
As a nation, all we can pray is people in politics do not politicize the issue to win the political brownie points and let the society decide its own future course.