This lawyer from Tamil Nadu is the first Indian to fight for - and get - a no-caste, no-religion certificate


At a time when religion and caste continue to be reasons for discrimination in India, a lawyer from Vellore district in Tamil Nadu fought for nine years to get a no-caste, no-religion certificate.

Be it paperwork or casual conversation in India, caste creeps in at some time or the other. But a 35-year-old lawyer from Vellore district in Tamil Nadu has fought and won a protracted battle to get an official “no-caste certificate”.

A Sneha Parthibaraja, who says she was raised in “an environment that did not focus on religion and caste”, received the certificate from Tirupathur Tahsildar Sathiyamurthy on February 5.

Source The Hindu

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But getting the certificate, which states “this is to certify that she does not belong to any caste or religion”, wasn’t easy.

“My school certificate and birth certificate do not mention religion and caste; they only mention Indian. But I did not have a certificate that gave me an identity without caste and religion. In 2010, I started to apply for a no-caste, no-religion certificate, but for some reason it was rejected by officials,” she says.

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But Sneha, a resident of Tirupathur in Vellore district, stood her ground. “In 2017, I approached officials, asking them to look into my request as I had not availed any government schemes or reservation,” she says.

Her request was first looked at by Tirupathur sub-collector Priyanka Pankajam,

"After examining all her certificates, we awarded her the certificate since we have not been informed of caste-religion so far from birth. We have not do anything like this yet, but we agreed that this would not cost anything to anyone else,” Priyanka says.

Sneha is keen to follow in her parents footsteps and leave behind the same legacy for her children. None of their certificates have any mention of their caste or religion.

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