Anonymous
in Family Law
Asked March 12, 2021

Religion of child born out of inter-faith marriage

  • 1 Answer
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In India, if a child is born to a Hindu father and a Christian Mother, what religion is required to be entered in documents at the time of admission of the child to school, if the religion column is to be mandatorily filled? I understand that the child has the freedom to pick a religion upon reaching the age of 18, but how should the religion be represented when the child is a minor? What should be entered in forms requiring the child to enter his/her religion? Both parents don't wish to impose any religion on the child at any point in time.

Answer 1

It is commendable that you wish to let your child choose his own faith as he grows older. At present, in India, there is no option to have a “no-caste-no-religion” option in the mandatory religion column of birth certificates. There is a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Telangana High Court seeking the addition of such a column in birth certificates. Similar to your case, David Ajjagapu and Sandepagu Swaroopa faced the same difficulty when filing for a birth certificate, and decided to file a PIL. The High Court has recently directed the Central and state governments to file their responses to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking introduction of 'no religion, no caste' columns in application forms to secure birth certificates and other documents.

There has been one rare instance of an Indian citizen being given a “No Caste, No Religion” certificate. On February 5th, Sneha Parthibaraja, a 35-year-old lawyer from Vellore became India’s first citizen to have a ‘no caste, no religion’ certificate. She had been fighting for her right to have an identity exclusive of caste and religion for 9 years.

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