1.24 Lakh Kerala Students Opt Out of Caste, Religion Columns

Kerala Education Minister C Raveendranath said that this trend proved the secular credentials of society. 

2 min read
Image used for representational purposes only. 

As of current academic records, over 1.24 lakh students admitted into Kerala’s private and government schools have chosen to opt out of stating their “belonging” to a particular caste or religion.

A report by The Indian Express states that all of these students left the caste and religious columns of the admission forms, blank.

The matter came to notice, when education minister C Raveendranath during an ongoing session of the state Assembly on Wednesday, announced that while about 1,23,630 students between classes 1 and 10 left the respective columns blank at the time of admission, about 278 from Class 11 and 239 from Class 12 followed head.

The figures, the report mentions, stands for the academic year 2017-2018 and have been based on collection of data from over 9000 schools 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.
C Raveendranath as reported by Hindustan Times

The education minister’s statement reportedly came in response to a question put forth by CPM MLA from Vamanapuram, DK Murali who asked about the number of the students who were choosing to leave the caste and religion columns blank during the time of admissions.

According to the Hindustan Times, several politicians and sports persons from the state have also decided to follow this trend, in hopes of breaking through the discrimination they believe are attached to both.

According to the report, Congress legislator VT Balaram and CPI(M) MP MB Rajesh had made the news in 2017, for not having filled the two designated columns, when their children had taken admission at the respective schools.

The trend is being witnessed not just in terms of school admissions, but in other facets of social identification as well.

CK Vineeth marked ‘nil’ in the religion column of his son’s birth certificate. 
CK Vineeth marked ‘nil’ in the religion column of his son’s birth certificate. 
(Photo courtesy: Twitter/@Akhila178)

The report mentions that footballer CK Vineeth, who played as a midfielder for the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League, recently circled on ‘nil’ in the religion column of his son’s birth certificate, which he later posted on Instagram.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and Hindustan Times)

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