There are no breaking news at the moment

In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman achieved her dream of obtaining ‘No Caste No Religion’ certificate through persistent struggle. This incident is a significant one. Some colleges in West Bengal have also introduced ‘humanity’, ‘agnostic’ , ‘secular’ or ‘non-religious’ in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith. (West Bengal colleges turn liberal over religion , Hans News Service, 3 June 2019, thehansindia.com). Such significant steps go a long way in creating progressive ideas among educated as well as ordinary people in the country.

On February 5 , 2019, Snegha Parthibaraja, a Tamil Nadu woman became what revenue officials call the first Indian woman to be issued a ‘ no caste no religion certificate’ .( Sneha: First Indian woman to get ‘no caste no religion’ certificate, by Shalini Verma, February 17, 2019,awaaznation.com). According to a report filed by Serena Josephine M for ‘ The Hindu’, Sneha’s parents too had left columns of caste and religion blank in application forms whenever they filled them. But their daughter Sneha took the step to make this part of her identity ‘official’.

Long struggle

Sneha, an advocate, has been trying for the certificate since 2010. “I started to apply for a ( no religion no caste) certificate in 2010 but officials kept rejecting it for some reason Some said there was no precedent in the country….”the daily quoted her as saying. But from 2017, she stood firmly on her decision and explained to the officials on her stand and justified her intentions.

B. Priyanka Pankajam , the sub-collector of Tirupattur told ‘The Hindu’ that they decided to give the certificate to Sneha after verifying all her documents and finding the caste and religion columns blank.( TN Woman’s Fight For India’s 1st ‘ No Caste No Religion is Crushing Stereotypes! By TBI team , June 18 2019, thebetterindia.com). A community certificate or a caste certificate is a record issued by state government which gives information that a particular person belongs to a particular community like SC, ST or OBC: in its place, she obtained the ‘No Caste No Religion’ certificate. Even her two sisters Jennifer and Mumtaz are identified as Indians without caste or religion.

In an interview to Vanita TV channel, the First Women – centric channel by Rachana Television (Telugu), Published on September 4 2019, Sneha explains the struggles for a casteless and reliless society since Marx and Ambedkar and Periyar. She says that this is a victory of ideology. (Sneha Parthibaraja Exclusive Interview | She Gets No…. https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbxbvLZdEdg). She has struggled for about nine years to achieve her goal.

Need of the hour

In a country where caste system is deep-rooted in society and religious hatred is on the rise, progressive thinking is the need of the hour. For a better society, caste system and religious hatred should be annihilated at the earliest.

Even a division bench of high court in Chennai has refused to remove the inscription – there is no God… – at the pedestals of Periyar statue across the state. (Atheists have right to their own opinion: Madras High Court, by Siva Sekaran, www.msn.com). In their 68 page order, the bench said that Periyar’s philosophy was the cause of movement for self respect of the downtrodden classes of society.

Such positive instances enhance the secular and socialist fabric of our country

Sheshu Babu is a political commentator


SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER


 

5 Comments

  1. One is sincerely shocked that in India caste is still being asked in application or for other forms or certificates. While religious affinity is still being asked in the advanced West, esp. in hospital registration for obvious reasons of death eventuality, what role ‘Caste’ at all plays for a job or marriage in India and its legality, is a matter for India’s constitutional experts to study and get this evil practice banned. Even BJP politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy is opposed to caste thinking and practice.

    In a way one can venture to say, this is a problem created by the Hindu way of life that includes over 80 pc of our population. In Pakistan, it has infected the Islamic “brotherhood” social life. Neither Buddhism, nor Sikhism, nor Islam, or Christians, or Parsis, follow casteism within their own individual communities. Only Hinduism does. People who adhere to it do not want to accept that we are living in a fast, high-tech driven, “meritocratic” 21st century, where caste is of least relevance to recruit a candidate for a demanding high-tech job. If you want to remove a chronic pain from your body you look for the best doctor around and not if the doctor were a Muslim, Sikh or Hindu. In a way the ‘Hindutwa’ propagandists are doing India a great disservice, if not damage, as far as caste is concerned by giving “Brahmins” lofty positions without caring if they are truly or properly qualified or not, as if these opportunistic Brahmins possessed the vision of the Brahman, hence in possession of absolute knowledge.

    Informed Hindus know that Vyasa, born to a fisherman’s daughter, was not a Brahmin, although father was a Rishi. So, quo vadis caste data in socio-economic life? The one compliment BJP stalwarts harvested in this regard is that it selected a low-caste Hindu to be India’s president, which is no argument for other caste-based/ religion-based malpractices of the ruling party.

    George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
    08/ 09/ 2019 19:33 hrs CET

    • K SHESHU BABU says:

      Thank you very much

    • Farooque Chowdhury says:

      Thanks for your concern. You have correctly identified — shocking. The issue is painful and annoying. But, the problem is in other lands also, in some other form, with some other name, in some other color. Only a few countries, probably one country, have successfully eliminated the problem. The name of the country is Cuba.

  2. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    Thanks for your article. Many information presented in the article were not known to me.

    I have read a poem by you in Leaves of Ink. I’m failing to not quote the poem here. With my extreme low level of knowledge, I fail to understand your poem. But I understand it carries deep meaning.

    The following appear meaningful to me:

    “But stars in the sky
    Face constant turbulence”

    and

    “But inner struggles and turbulence
    Of life remain non-reflected”

    and

    “Ground Reality
    Is not just ‘Reflection’
    By waves of water
    But more complex, concrete
    Inner turbulence
    Inner contradictions”

    Here is your poem:

    Reflection

    Sunday, September 8, 2019 | Filed under Sheshu Babu

    Contributor: Sheshu Babu

    – –
    Turbulent waves
    Of water
    Reflect serene sky
    And stars

    But stars in the sky
    Face constant turbulence
    Not reflected
    By waves of water
    On Earth

    Waves of water
    Reflect
    Nature and life
    In various hues
    But inner struggles and turbulence
    Of life remain non-reflected

    Ground Reality
    Is not just ‘Reflection’
    By waves of water
    But more complex, concrete
    Inner turbulence
    Inner contradictions