Shashi Tharoor in his book, ‘Why I'm A Hindu’ writes that his grandfather had once told him, "India as a country is the only country that fights to go ‘backward’ to move ‘forward’." This paradoxically wise words on reservations in the world’s largest democracy cannot be any truer. A 35-year-old advocate from Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu, A Sneha Parthibaraja, has, however, showed us that in this ongoing battle of demarcations by caste, sex, religion, one can still free the chains by becoming the first Indian to get a certificate of 'no caste, no religion'.
According to a report from The Hindu, Sneha’s parents, like her, had also always left the two columns of caste and religion blank in application forms. On February 5, Sneha took the step further that will validate her identity of choice with a certificate.
An advocate and resident of Tirupattur, a town in the Vellore district, Sneha is reported to have been trying for the certificate since 2010. “I started to apply for a [no religion, no caste] certificate in 2010, but officials kept rejecting it for some reason. Some said there was no precedent in the country. It was in 2017 that I began to stand by ground and explained [my stand] to officials. I justified my stand, saying they should look into my request as I had availed no government schemes or reservations,” she said.
Following this groundbreaking news, social media have been flooded with congratulatory messages for the advocate including Tamil Nadu’s actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.
Check out some of the tweets here:
Dear Sneha,— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) February 13, 2019
You have actuated a long dormant desire among Indians. Let’s discard what never belonged to us. Let’s caste away Caste. From this point, a better tomorrow will be more accessible. Bravo daughter. Lead India forward. https://t.co/tdjngFiHWl
Finally a piece of good news - as expected, from the South! https://t.co/8j2TJKuIHy— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) February 14, 2019