Meet Sneha, First Indian To Receive ‘No Caste, No Religion’ Certificate

Chennai: A female advocate from Tamil Nadu has become the first Indian who officially doesn’t belong to any caste or religion.

Neither 35-year-old Sneha, a resident of Tirupattur, nor her parents believe in caste or religion. They always left the ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ columns blank in any application form.

Sneha’s decade-long battle was finally rewarded on February 5 when she received a certificate from Tirupattur tahsildar TS Sathiyamoorthy that states she belongs to ‘no caste, no religion’.

Tamil Nadu revenue officials said that this is most likely the first time that such a certificate has been issued in India.

“All my certificates have nil or are blank against the ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ columns. This includes my birth certificate and school certificates. They mention me as an Indian. But I started to realise that every application form I filled, mandated enclosure of community certificate. So, I had to obtain a self-affidavit. It was only then that it occurred to me that I needed an identity that was sans caste and religion,” Sneha was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

“When people who believe in caste and religion have certificates, why not issue certificates to people like us?” she argued.

Recalling her quest for a unique identity, Sneha said she started applying for a no religion, no caste certificate in 2010.

“But officials kept rejecting it for some reason or the other. Some said there was no precedent in the country. It was in 2017 that I began to stand my ground and explained it to officials. I justified my stand saying they should look into my request as I had availed no government schemes or reservation,” she said.

Tirupattur Sub-Collector B Priyanka Pankajam finally agreed to Sneha’s request after verifying her school and college documents.

Sneha and her professor husband K. Parthiba Raja have been leaving the ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ columns of their three daughters’ school application forms blank as well.

May be one day, they would also apply for no caste status.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.