Ahmedabad: An autorickshaw driver in Ahmedabad set a strong example of secularism as his daughter received a ‘secular’ school-leaving certificate, one that makes no mention religion or caste. After waging a long battle with the authorities, the father Rajveer Pravinchandra Upadhyay received his daughter’s certificate on Monday, a photo of which has gone viral on Twitter. Also Read - Dalit Lives Matter, Really? 17-Year-Old Dalit Boy Shot by Upper Caste Men For Visiting Temple in UP's Amroha
Upadhyay wanted to make sure that his daughter Akanksha’s certificate does not mention either her caste, religion or community. This is perhaps the first-of-its-kind school-leaving certificate that does not mention caste or race.
Well, it wasn’t easy at all! To get the work done, he had to make innumerable representations, and applications, to the Ahmedabad district collector, and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
In 2017, Rajveer had requested state authorities to recognise him as an atheist and allow him to change his name to ‘RV155677820’, an amalgamation of his name Rajveer and the enrollment number on his school-leaving certificate.
‘’I am a rationalist and secular person and this is a secular country. The law of the country should give me the right to be known as an atheist. If I write my name and surname, people will know my religion and caste but I do not want my identity to be shrunk to the narrow confines of religion and caste,’’ he has said.
He is currently pursuing his Masters in Clinical Psychology from IGNOU.