Nowadays when we are witnessing so much intolerance on the basis of religion and caste all over India, be it the violent attacks by cow vigilantes in the name of Hindutva or the marginalization of Dalits, the decision of the students in Kerala to ditch their caste while taking admissions is a breath of fresh air.
Due to the presence of communism in Kerala, there have always been talks of growing radicalism in the state with more and more people believing that sticking to one’s caste is the only way to get more opportunities in the education and job sector.
However, this news has surely underlined the fact that the state’s new generation doesn’t harbor this thought.
What Exactly Happened?
On Wednesday, during the Question Hour of the Assembly Session in Kerala, State Education Minister Prof C Ravindranath announced that in the academic year 2018-19, almost 1.24 lakh students have left the caste and religion spaces blank while filling their admission forms for classes 1 to 12. This number is up from 1.23 lakh last year.
The data comes from 9,209 government and aided schools in the state.
What Does This Mean?
Some sources are saying that since it is no longer mandatory for students to mention their caste or religion, hence many have opted not to write it.
On the other hand, parents of these students are proud of this decision of doing away with caste while taking admissions because they want their kids to pursue education on the basis of their merit and not any kind of caste-based reservation.
Well hats off to these parents who are so progressive in their thinking.
But no matter what the reason for this non-disclosure is, the main thing is that this goes a long way in stopping caste-based discrimination in schools. This is because it is well known that such kind of marginalization begins as soon as people reveal their religion and caste group.
Therefore, when students say that they have no religion or caste actually contributes to providing a level playing field to students in which everyone has the freedom of excelling in academics based purely on skills.
I would say this is a historic step firstly because it comes from the newest generation which holds the key to India’s future and secondly because it is a step towards a secular country where all religions and caste groups are given equal importance.
And this is the need of the hour!
Images Source: Google Images
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