She Is India’s First Caste, Religion Less Woman. This Is What This Country Needs!
Religion and caste, two distinguished ideas that offer people their entitlement here in India, are seldom seen for what they really are. In all totality, they are beliefs, and last we checked, belief was subjective to an individual and not mandatory. Born and raised along the same principles, MA Sneha, an advocate from Tamil Nadu, has become the first woman to be legally caste and religion less.
Recently, the Tamil Nadu government issued Sneha a caste and religion less certificate after she sent in several letters and then finally resorted to filing for them like any other individual does to get a community certificate.
She shares how even when she was a kid, her family raised her as a staunch atheist and have been living without any caste or religious identification and the columns for caste and religion in school always remained blank. And surprisingly, this doesn’t come as a shock but rather a sort of a liberation to hear that there are families in India that want to steer clear of the stigmas and conformity that comes with your name.
Sneha’s two sisters, also brought up with a similar upbringing have Christian and Muslim names – Jennifer and Mumtaj Suriya. Her in-laws too, even back then, had named their daughters differently she said.
Recalling her childhood days, Sneha added, “We grew up in a different environment. Our home was frequented by communist friends of my parents. At home, the books, too, were on communism, rationalism and atheism. My sisters and I imbibed those principles.”
She further went on saying, “We didn’t waver an inch in our core belief even when one of my sisters was a born thalassemic patient requiring regular blood transfusion. Even when she faced life threatening ailments we didn’t go in search of any God.”
Guess they understand that faith doesn’t just mean allegiance to a superpower, but perhaps in the rationality of the age too. And like they say, you attract what you are, because she happened to find a guy who too, was inspired by the philosophies of Periyar and Ambedkar and became an atheist.
Sneha said her three daughters, with a mix of Buddhist, Christian and Muslim names – Aadhirai Nasreen, Aadhila Irene and Aarifa Jessy and her two sisters will soon apply for no caste, no religion certificates as well.
Way to go for progression, we are here for it!