Parents of two daughters narrating as why it was so imperative to raise their children with no religious beliefs is a tale that lights a new perspective of secularity and dharma.


In today’s time where national politics has boiled down to religion. It became important for me to ask my parents why they raised me and my sister with no religious faith. And here is there answer in my parents’ words


‘People often mistake our choice of upbringing our children as our unawareness about our religion, other religions and spirituality in general. However, it was only truly understanding teachings of holy books, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Quran, the Bible and others that we came to this conclusion that our children will follow no particular religion.


If someone actually takes the time to understand these texts, he/she will realize that the end goal or the preaching of each book is the same. It states very evidently that all of us are a small part of larger conscious and each says that the only path of living is to be dutiful and responsible. If all paths have same ideals and all end goals are same, then why should we pre-impose certain set of rules on our kids and rob them of the choice of finding the path that convinces their individuality. It is the same as saying that our child would be a doctor.


In 2001, our first child was born, at that point admiring our daughter both of us decided we will never rob her of her originality as a human. All we will do is give her exposure to all rights and all wrongs associated with each philosophy and religion, then she can make an informed decision of what she believes for herself.


The other thing we strongly believed was, once we start belonging to a particular religion or follow a certain thought process, we lose the capability of imbibing the great of other religions and questioning the flaws of ours. When we wanted our daughters to meet people, we wanted them to judge them on their opinions and thoughts, not where they come from and what they follow.


The greatness of our nation lies in the fact, that all people from various ideologies can co-exist and celebrate all types of festivals with each other and we wanted our kids to enjoy all spheres of the society.


A huge problem we faced was if we had subjected our kids to one particular thought, we would have the risk of them being victims of false propaganda and pseudo-spirituality which is preached often by bearers of these particular religions and our children lacking the exposure would have taken them as the gospel truth.


We wanted our children to understand that to respect your community, you need to respects others first because all have the same purpose and teachings, to make sensitive human beings. Our choice also allowed us to interpret their teachings in the way we understood, instead of how they are manifested in society.’


My father added, ‘The biggest motivation of teaching no religious ideology to our daughters came when I studied Bhagwat Geeta, a sentence said ‘ek aadmi ka dharma kya hai’, when I analyzed this I got stuck on the word ‘dharma’, I realized this word is used in the context of duty. As in, if you translate this word to the English text, it means duty and not religion. In fact, Hindu sub-texts don’t have a word for religion. In our Sankskriti, religion is nowhere mentioned, only duty is. Duty towards your parents, towards your environment and fellow people. And this definition of dharma is same for every religious ideology. It is not that Hinduism teaches you to take care of your parents, but Sikhism doesn’t. So, religion is just a set of rules to fulfil that dharma. So, if I make my kids dutiful, they won’t need religion. Religion only became an unnecessary word to separate us into smaller groups and propagate politics and is nowhere involved in the personal growth of human beings.’



‘People often say you will find Moksha and Nirvana through religion and that’s not true at all. They believe that our Geeta says that the following religion rigidly finds you happiness, a saying in Geeta has been translated to ‘tu kam kare ja fal ki chinta mat kar’ means you work and god will give you your prize in next life or when you reach heaven. It actually means that when you do a good deed, you instantly feel happiness. and when you hurt someone, you feel guilty.

It also paves the way to think that humans in their intrinsic fabric have a moral compass, then you don’t need religion or set of rules to fulfil your dharma.


Religion has no role in personal development, otherwise people wouldn’t kill each other for religion. It is a means of highlighting festivals to move economy or have a system for society.


We wanted our children to be rationalists, for them to always have the capability of asking questions. Both of us come from scientific backgrounds and we knew the importance of scientific temperament. It gives you the power of innovation and yet a check on reality. Science is fact-based that gives you concrete knowledge you can build upon, but history has been the witness of so many religious texts becoming irrelevant due to scientific advancements. When Galileo Galilei proved there are moons orbiting Jupiter, it forced the Bible to accept that earth is not the centre of solar system and the universe. These holy texts were written as per the need of the society then. However, they should adapt to the needs of society today. And being part of one religion would’ve halted their personal evolution.

In conclusion, I believe all we wanted was that our children to be kind, dutiful and secular. When we mean secular, we mean they can do whatever they want until they hurt someone else. We don’t mean pro-Hindu or pro-Muslim, just inclusive, pro-choice, pro-people and constitutional citizens. Hence, philosophy and scientific narrative proved to be better tools of upbringing than religion ever did.’


Listening to their answer, it made me wonder, is religion the root cause of the bias that we share as a society and does liberal children, hope to solve pressing problems of today. Whatever the answer to those questions be, it is imperative that we have children and youth, free from every bias so they can pave way for a more inclusive, sensitive and better society.


Feature Image Credits: Sacred Games (Netflix)


Chhavi Bamba

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Lack of commercial significance and unwillingness of students to pursue the language courses has resulted in fewer students opting for these fields; primarily, Hindi and Sanskrit. Here’s exploring the reason behind this pattern.

The academic world has been taken by storm by the prominent rise of Commerce and Economics as primary fields of higher education. It is thus inevitably assumed that if the class XIIth board examinations do not go in one’s favour, the recent pass-out is fated to opt for these language-specific arts courses as a browbeaten backup. The streams of Hindi, Sanskrit, and their likes have been destined to fall into this unfortunate category.

With its origin dating back to the second millennium, Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages to exist today. Emerging from the roots of it is our official language Hindi, which was derived back in the 7th century AD. Hindi is the fourth most-spoken language, with approximately 490 million people making use of it. Sanskrit is the official state language of Uttarakhand. Given their history and usage, there are hardly a few more languages that are as decorated as these two.

However, when it comes to studying these subjects at the undergraduate level, the numbers aren’t as staggering as that of the commerce courses. In the University of Delhi, there are about 45 colleges that offer B.A. (Hons.) Hindi, and only about 25 colleges that offer B.A. (Hons.) Sanskrit. Even after a limited number of seats for these courses, the seats fill up rather slowly. However, having said that, there has been an increase in the number of students pursuing these courses in the recent years.

Speaking to DU Beat, Dr. Subhash Chandra, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sanskrit, said

“The slow growth is due to the high demand of job-oriented courses in the market. The research and development in these subjects require students who are completely focused on these subjects which are very few.”

It cannot be refuted that the commercial significance of these languages is not as high as the commerce courses. Also, the lack of placements of students pursuing these courses is a huge factor contributing to the stagnation.

In this age of advancement, it is understandable that students want to pursue courses that offer better career-building prospects. The kind of scope and number of opportunities that the mainstream courses provide are incomparable; whereas, these language courses are more about research and exploration. Also, these courses require immense effort and a higher degree of knowledge which results in a long and continuous studying phase. However, these are not the only reasons that act as a hindrance. Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Associate Professor of Hindi Department, opines that

“Hindi and Sanskrit languages cannot restore their place as long as there is no change in the system. Our studying curriculum involves the use of English mostly as it is regarded as an elite language.”

The fact that a few students opt for these courses only when they are unable to find other courses does not help the situation. The use of English in studying directly encourages students to learn and use English. As highlighted in the statement, the discrimination of Hindi and Sanskrit very much explains why there is a scenario of fewer students opting for these courses.

Regardless of the usage of English, the fact stays that it is a secondary language for us. Owing to the choice-based credit system (CBCS) introduced by DU, the number of students studying Hindi and Sanskrit have increased. Students pursuing other courses can opt for these subjects simultaneously if they wish to. Also, these languages are a part of the curriculum which makes it compulsory for students to study it. Adarsh Kumar, a third-year student of B.A. Hons. Hindi of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College says,

“I don’t feel like there is a lack of opportunities in this program. The course covers a lot of things and I have learned a lot of things. I am very happy with the curriculum.”

Maybe we need to revamp the current backdrop to bring a change. Maybe we just need to open up doors of opportunities that make the language courses seem lucrative. Maybe we need something more drastic. We need to take this trend of increasing number of students in these courses to a higher level, where one day students might be standing in the queue for hours to enroll themselves in this program. Hopefully, one day, we can relish studying the language that is our own.


Feature Image Credits: Language Services Bureau 


Karan Singhania

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Sanskrit, as everyone knows, is an ancient Indic language. Also referred as the language of Hinduism and the Vedas, it is the classical literary language of India.

The makers of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) however, have given Sanskrit a new form.

Under the FYUP, there will now be various courses in theatre, self-management, Indian scientific heritage and dramatics by the Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi. Any student from Sanskrit Honours will study these courses as a part of Discipline Courses – I, which includes core subjects. There is also an introduction of archaeological subject matters such as Indian epigraphy, paleography and chronology. Students will get a chance to study climatology, ayurveda, ecology, archaeology and yoga with this modification.

“In Discipline-1, from the total of 20 subjects, 18 are intact and changes are made to 2 of them and in Discipline-2, students will be able to learn subjects like Yoga, Upanishad, etc, which will make them understand their culture better,” said Dr. Punita Sharma, Associate Professor, Sanskrit Department, Sri Venkateshwara College.

28 colleges of the University offer B.A. Sanskrit (Honours) as a course and 40 colleges will teach Sanskrit at Discipline 2. There are many part time courses run by the University which includes Diploma and Certificate Course in Sanskrit.

“According to me, students in Second Year (III Semester) should be given free option while choosing their subjects and choices should be made from all the subjects being taught at the college, removing restrictions, so that the main purpose remains undefeated.” added Dr. Punita.

The sole purpose behind this redo is to change people’s and students mindset about Sanskrit as a subject and to make them realize its grandness and importance in this new world. Also, this is to ensure that students keep up with the demands of the job market scenario.