Bethune College in Kolkata included Humanity as an option in the religion section of the college admission forms. NT KURIOCITY spoke to a few youngsters to know their thoughts on the matter

To be honest it’s really a beautiful step taken by the college, humanity is something that every religion preaches, so why not to have it as an option in the college application form? As we all know there is one identity that Indians have come to associate themselves with, to an extent that’s even made them kill each other, it has been that of religion. Such a step will hopefully restore faith in mankind and help us accept the diversity of views.

Navleen Kaur,Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College, Mapusa

I feel the move is a bad idea, it’s just an option to mention your religion. I’ve had no encounters where I’ve been judged by my religion. And one’s religion should be something he/she should be proud of. The addition of humanity as an option will only create confusion among students. The option could be replaced with something like ‘don’t want to disclose’ which will give the student privacy if they want to hide it.

Hari Budke, intern at Goa Medical College, Bambolim

It’s an option needed not just in admission forms but also in every aspect of life. But people who are choosing the option of humanity have to really understand the deeper meaning of the same, not just fill it for the sake of it. They should practice it and respect humans irrespective of religion, ethnicity, age, gender, etc.

Alcina Fernandes, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

This college has taken a great initiative to introduce humanity in the admission form and of course I feel every college should do the same because humanity is the greatest religion. Every person has to be humane and inculcate the qualities of compassion, kindness, understanding, goodness, sympathy and generosity, these qualities are truly very important and play a vital role in each one’s life.

Tanisha Samant, Sridora Caculo College of Commerce and Management Studies, Mapusa

You don’t have to follow any religion to be a human. Believing in God and believing in religion are two different things. We make the religion and not the vice-versa. Going to the temple, praying and donating or offering money/gold in the name of the God is religion. We do so because we fear or want to please God, although all those offerings go into priests’ pockets. But helping needy unconditionally in whatever way you can is humanity. Be it in terms of money, food, education or anything. According to me there should not be a religion column in the admission form at all. How does it matter?

Nilangi Netravalkar, Panaji

Well, any person’s first identity is that they are human beings and then comes the categorisation. As also said by the Kolkata Bethune College officials that mankind’s true religion is humanity and it’s a great effort of introducing that in the religion section of the form. People who do not believe in these already established religions can choose the option of humanity. Other colleges should also offer the same because our religion is not what we choose but is passed down. To avoid this we can choose humanity and avoid the limited options.

Deepti Fadte, Goa College of Engineering, Ponda

I don’t think any religion can be inhumane to keep humanity as an option against religion. Apart of its philosophical beliefs and various ideas about the lord, no religion preaches about being inhumane. Religion also brings discipline to one as there is the feeling of someone greater always looking upon us, this very feeling itself would make religious people become good human beings. One thing every person should remember is that religion can never be wrong, yet religious people can. Secondly, a religious person knows that he is answerable to someone someday or the other based on their philosophical beliefs like karma in Hinduism and judgment day, etc, in the case of other religions.

Avin Anant Pai Kane, Goa-Velha

All religions have their bases in being a good human but these days we see religion being considered as an excuse to conduct inhumane acts around the world. Having humanity instead of religion is a very good initiative as we come from a very religion sensitive country. The value of being a caring and humane individual will be inculcated. It will also give more freedom to look at the world from a wider perspective and secularly address issues we face today. There won’t be any divide in the class and that is where we can solve the root cause of the issue surrounding.

Alvina Almeida, student, Carmel College for Women, Nuvem