In Kerala, 1.2 lakh students leave religion, caste columns blank during admission
In Kerala the new generation is abhorring religion and caste in a big way, statistics show. With every academic year more and more students are getting admitted in government and private schools leaving the religion or caste column blank.
State education minister Prof C Ravindranath on Wednesday informed the legislative assembly that the healthy trend is on rise in the state. “This year at the time of admission a record number of 1.24 lakh students have left religion and caste columns blank while seeking admission. This shows secular credentials of our society,” the minister said while replying to a question.
This is out of 3.16 lakh students who took admission in class 1.
“In the latest academic year at least 123, 630 students between class and 1 and 10 stated they had no religion or caste. Every year their numbers are growing,” the minister said, adding that these figures have been collected from over 9000 schools in the state. Last year total number of students taking admission was 3.04 lakh.
Officials of the education department and others admit that the trend is on the rise. They say they have no role once parents say they have no religion. “It is fact that division and discrimination start once you declare your caste and religious identity. It is time we boot out such tags,” said P Sajeevan, a government employee who enrolled in his five-year-old without filling both columns.
Some politicians and sportspersons are also doing their bit to send a message across. Congress legislator V T Balaram and CPI(M) MP M B Rajesh were in news last year for not filling designated columns while enrolling their children at schools. Similarly footballer C K Vineeth recently marked ‘nil’ in the religion column of his son’s birth certificate. He later posted the birth certificate on Instagram.