There are various things that colleges still do which baffle us since they are not at all with the modern times.
Some things that come to mind are not updating syllabus, going by the same rote learning method and asking for religion on the college admission form.
But it seems that the Bethun College in Kolkata is setting an interesting precedent in the last category, by allowing the students to choose a unique answer to the religion question.
As per the latest change to their admission form, students can now choose the option ‘humanity’ as their religion, instead of the common answers of Hindu, Muslim, Christianity etc.
Why This Change?
Bethune College, is one of the oldest women’s college in Asia, but besides this trivia, their latest step to be more inclusive of different kinds of faith is good to see.
Currently, there are 8 options available for students to choose their religion from including, Humanity, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Others.
The principal of the college, Mamata Ray, was quoted by Indian Express explaining the reason behind doing as, “The option humanity has been kept for the students who do not believe in established religions, though the college does not believe that there is any difference between humanity and religion.”
She also stated how it was a more positive mindset to have faith in humanity instead of being a non-believer, since it creates a pessimistic view in the young students.
Ray also explained that it is better to have humanity as the religion since that is something common to all the different religions and can work as a uniting factor rather than creating a divide by the various religions.
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Other Universities To Take Lesson From
It might not look like much, but this step is actually quite progressive and other universities especially the big ones like Delhi University and such should take note from this.
The very fact that religion is still being asked on college forms, in a place of education where religion should be the last thing on anyone’s mind is absurd to be honest.
This question has absolutely no affect on anything related to the college experience of a student, instead what it does is categorise the students even more, making them hyper aware of which religion or group they really belong to.
It should also be noticed that the Kolkata college has kept ‘Humanity’ has the very first option in the form, rather than keep it as the last.
This brings focus to what they are trying to achieve and creates a united group of students, who are not put away in specific groups.
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