There is this latest controversy in Kerela on a 7th standard school text book as reported by The Telegraph
For the past one week, pro-UDF student activists have been out on the streets, attacking the police, burning textbooks and damaging public property. Arrested leaders of the Kerala Student Union have launched a fast in jail.
The Church, the Muslim League and the Nair Service Society allege that large portions of the book betray an attempt to instil atheism into schoolchildren’s minds. They also claim that the book, which cites caste cruelties, will sow sectarian discontent.
At the heart of the controversy lies a chapter titled “No Religion for Jeevan”, which advises children not to enter their religion in school registers. It describes how an inter-caste couple, while enrolling their child at school, insist that the columns against religion and caste be left blank.
Every body is protesting against the book because it is preaching atheism and that children if inflected with such ideas would grow up with no values. Right so to have good values you must have a religion. How silly is that.
Can’t say about the whole book, but I don’t see anything wrong with the chapter. It makes perfect sense to have an option “no religion” in official documents. Religion should be a matter of personal faith and lifestyle. We need not be public about it.
I also don’t know how come it is ok for parents to force a religion on children but its not ok to give them another option.
Religion is forced upon us from the time when we are just few months old, loads of customs like naam karans mundans etc. Bongs hav this thing called annaprashan..where a 6 month baby is all dressed up like a bride/groom and fed with a grand lunch.
Kids hardly have learnt to walk and they are taken to places of worship and are taught by parents how to worship.
So forcing a religion upon a child is ok? And giving them another outlook, a possibility of a life without religion is not ok? Let them learn about atheism too and then let them decide…coz hey atheism is a religion too you know. Like I am religiously non religious.
To answer a few questions some one raised about he legal angle. Hardly any of you here would know about Indian personal laws which actually allows an individual to not have any religion at all.
As per law, a child of inter religion marriages is said to have the religion according to which he have been brought up. If the parents get married under Special Marriage Act and if they are not religious people which means they never took their child to a place of worship never followed any religious customs at all the child would actually grow up to be someone not having any particular religion. And matters related to inheritance / property etc would be governed by Indian Succession Act and not by any personal law.
As an adult he/she can then decided which religion to follow or may even continue to be a non religions person governed by the civil law of the land instead of any personal law whatsover.
I have written about this in a post of mine here https://sanjukta.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/atheism-law-and-marriage/