If we look at some of the great catastrophes the world has seen like the Holocaust, 9/11, ISIS attacks, Rohingya crisis, and the communal riots in India itself, we’ll know undoubtedly that the main cause behind such tragedies is religion. As far as history has recorded, people have taken religion as a weapon so as to gain supremacy over other communities and completely eradicate those who are the apparent “other” – a constant battle between us and them.
Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, etc. are religions we are born into, without having any choice. However, what if one grows into becoming an atheist? Or what if one chooses to identify themselves as spiritual and not religious? What do they tick-off in the numerous forms and documents all of us have to fill out when we appear for admissions or open a bank account? Do they tick-off “others”? Is it unquestionably necessary to identify oneself with any particular religion?
While we ask ourselves these conflicting questions, one college from West Bengal has already taken a step ahead into solving this dilemma. Kolkata’s Bethune College has introduced ‘Humanity’ as an option under their ‘Religion’ section in the form for college admissions.
According to sources, the online application form that has been made available on the college website has a category called ‘Humanity’ alongside Hindu, Islam, Christian, Jainism, Buddhism, etc.
“We have realised that some students are reluctant to mentioning their religion in the admission form. We appreciate their views as we feel that ‘Humanity’ is the true religion of mankind. So we have deliberately kept this category in the religion section. It was a unanimous decision on the part of our admission committee,” said Mamata Ray, Principal of Bethune College.
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“The Indian cultural history has always tried to preach that India is a place where people of all religion live amicably. However, the country has been witnessing incidents of religious intolerance at present which has emerged as a concern. The time has come to deliver the message strongly that Humanity is the true religion. We appreciate this step taken by our college,” said a student of the college.
This is nothing but a revolutionary step taken by the college. Humanity is above all religion and we sincerely hope this stands as an inspiration to the nation!