In Kerala, 1.2 lakh students leave religion, caste columns blank during admission

Image used for representational purpose

Image used for representational purpose

Grown-up men fighting and killing each other over caste and religion in the country now have an example before them - a hundred thousand-plus schoolchildren in Kerala. In a written reply, he said that as many as 1,24,147 children had not filled up the columns while enrolling in different standards of the government and government-aided schools during 2017-18 academic year.

State education minister Prof C Ravindranath on Wednesday informed the legislative assembly that the healthy trend is on rise 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", the minister said while replying to a question. Since many of these students are in Class XII, it means their parents had taken the hugely forward-looking step over at least a decade ago. The compelling figures came into light when Education Minister C. Raveendranath announced that while 1,23,630 students between classes 1 and 10 stated they had no caste or religion, the number of such students in classes 11 and 12 were 278 and 239, respectively.

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The number of students who sought admission in schools across the state without mentioning their caste and religious identities in the application form is a whopping 125,000.

Some political leaders, including Congress legislator V.T. Balram and CPM Lok Sabha member M.B. Rajesh, had also refused to mention their children's caste and religion in their admission forms. He later posted the birth certificate on Instagram.

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