It is hard not to find religion in every nook of India’s institutional bodies especially in an institution as massive as our education system. In most of the colleges, admission forms require everything from caste, sex, gender to the religion one practices, until, Kolkata’s Bethune College decided to add ‘Humanity’ as a religion to do away with the exclusive and discriminatory nature of the system itself.
The Principal Mamta Ray in an interview with Millenium Post said, “We have realised that some students are reluctant to mention their religion in the admission form. We appreciate their views as we feel that ‘Humanity’ is the true religion of mankind. So we have deliberately kept this category in the religion section. It was a unanimous decision on the part of our admission committee.”
Meanwhile inclining themselves to a more ‘humanitarian approach’. In times like these, when communal tensions are at peak, this move is being welcomed.
Response from youth
Undoubtedly, religion has time and again led to divisive tendencies in the nation, threatening communal violence. While the impact is huge, it is necessary that the youth understands the futility of the system. Meanwhile inclining themselves to a more ‘humanitarian approach’. In times like these, when communal tensions are at peak, this move is being welcomed. Twitter and students all over India appreciated this historical decision.
SheThePeople.TV spoke to five college going students to know their opinion…here are the responses we received:
Impact is doubtful
Parul Yadav, a student of Journalism of Kamala Nehru College says, “I think all religions preach humanity, however separately giving it recognition is good, giving wider choices in a way. However, the question remains, why in the first place do I have to specify my religion or any affiliation as such? What about an atheist option? Does religion really matter in college?”
“I think it’s great theory to make people wake up, but can it really substitute religion? Humanity shouldn’t be religion I believe, its common sense.” says Aditi Choudhary, who is soon to start college.
“I believe it’s a step forward in removing religious barriers among people especially in a place like India that too in a time when people are trying to divide the country on religious grounds.”
It is a good step
Spenta Jassawala, an undergraduate student takes a positive view, “I believe it’s a step forward in removing religious barriers among people especially in a place like India that too in a time when people are trying to divide the country on religious grounds.”
While Malavika.P.M a student of DU says, “This is a huge secular step needed in the country at the moment. While filing the form those who don’t want to be identified with their religion can opt for humanity. This way one can oppose the growing trend of religion taking over humanity.”
The college authorities, however, made it clear that stating the religion as ‘Humanity’ will not be a problem for any student for availing scholarship if she meets the necessary guidelines for the same, Millenium Post reported.
Snigdha Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv