Where school application forms usually have a mandatory column for religion, two Kerala leaders have set a precedent by refusing to give a default religion to their children. As the country seems to be polarised on religious lines, these leaders give a fresh dash of hope in the younger generation.
On Thursday, the two leaders namely CPI (M) MP MB Rajesh and Congress MLA VT Balram proudly announced that their children had been admitted to government schools and the column of religion on the application forms was left blank.
It is the second time that MP MB Rajesh has chosen not to fill the religion’s column for his children. He posted on Facebook:
“I have written ‘no’ in the column for religion and caste. I am proud that I have done this at a time when the state is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Panthibhojanam”.
On the other hand, Congress MLA VT Balram further wrote that his son is free to choose his own religion as he grows up:
“As part of public education, I have enrolled my son Advaith Manav into the Arikkad Government LP School near my house. In the column that asked for his religion and caste, we said he does not have any. When he is an adult, he is free to choose his religion.”
Furthermore, sharing the reason for his preference for government school over a Kendriya Vidyalaya, he said, “my second daughter Priya Detta has joined the first standard in the East Yakkara Government Lower Primary School. My elder daughter Niaranjana is studying in the 8th standard at the Government Moyans Girls Higher Secondary School in Palakkad.”
“I have given up the seats allowed through MP quota in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Rather I preferred them to be admitted in government schools because of the scope of learning Malayalam. There is no scope of learning Malayalam in KV, which is a government run institution. My faith lies in the quality of Public Education system” he added.