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India: Shedding religion, atheist wants to be called ‘RV155677820’

Sunday 21 May 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/shedding-religion-atheist-wants-to-be-called-rv155677820/articleshow/58770816.cms

Shedding religion, atheist wants to be called ‘RV155677820’

Ashish Chauhan, TNN

May 21, 2017, 06.37 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: A city-based autorickshaw driver, born a Hindu, wants freedom from religion and wishes to be known in government documents as ‘RV155677820’. But his desire to renounce religion is stuck as the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Actdoes not have provisions to turn atheist. The Act only allows conversion from one religionto another.

Rajveer Upadhyay (33), from Chandkheda, had first filed a plea before Ahmedabad district collector in 2015, sending a clueless collectorate into a tizzy on how to deal with his application.
Last month, he reiterated his plea and followed it up with a Right to Information application to know the status.


“Nobody needs to necessarily follow a religion, so please declare me an atheist or secular. After that I want to be renamed as RV155677820 in official government documents,” states the application.

“Nobody needs to necessarily follow a religion in this world, so you please declare me an atheist or secular. After you declare me an atheist, I want to be renamed as RV155677820 in government documents like election card (voter ID), college degree, PAN card and Aadhaar card,” states the application filed by Upadhyay.
RV is short for Rajveer and the rest is his enrolment number on his school leaving certificate. Upadhyay, who is pursuing a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology, said he has been influenced by the rationalists’ movements across the world.

Upadhyay told TOI, “I was born a Garo Brahmin, a scheduled caste. Since childhood, I used to witness various forms of discrimination and superstition in the name of religion and caste.”