In a refreshing change Kolkata’s Bethune College lets you choose humanity as a religion!

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If we look at some of the world’s great catastrophes such as the Holocaust, 9/11, ISIS attacks, Rohingya crisis, and the communal riots in India itself, we will undoubtedly know that religion is the main cause behind such tragedies. From history’s point of view, people have taken religion as a weapon in order 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, and so on are religions in which we are born into, with no choice of our own. What if one grows into an atheist, though? Or what if you choose to identify yourself as spiritual rather than religious?  What do we all have to fill out then, when we appear for admissions or open a bank account in the numerous forms and documents?

Do we tick-off  “others” ? Is it undoubtedly necessary to identify with any religion?

While these conflicting questions are being asked, one West Bengal college has already taken a step forward in resolving this dilemma. The Bethune College of Kolkata introduced ‘ Humanity ‘ as an option in the form for college admissions under their ‘ Religion ‘ section.

According to sources, alongside Hindu, Islam, Christian, Jainism, Buddhism, etc., the online application form made available on the college website has a category called ‘ Humanity. ‘

Mamata Ray, Principal of Bethune College, said, “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”.

One of the students of the college also said,” 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”.

This a giant and a revolutionary step taken by the college. This will stand as an inspiration to the nation and we sincerely hope it remains so as Humanity is above all religion.

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