He said that he has to approach the court finally as the district collector rejected his plea to change his religion to ‘atheism’ in May last year.
AHMEDABAD: An autorickshaw driver of the city has approached the Gujarat High Court seeking directions to describe his religion as ‘secular’, ‘atheist’ or ‘nationalist’ after his pleas failed before the district collector and Rajkot Gazette Office.In the plea before the high court, the petitioner — Rajveer Upadhyay, 34, from Chandkheda area of the city has submitted that the Constitution provides freedom to practice any religion.
Upadhyay argued in that he has been suffering from the caste-based system, so he wants to describe his religion as ‘secular’ or as a nationalist, which according to him is the core value of this country.Upadhyay also demanded the court’s intervention to make necessary amendments in Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act as it did not have any mention about atheism or secularism.
If I cannot be granted permission to describe my religion as secularism or atheism, then I can at least be granted permission to be known as a nationalist in which no one should have problem.”Upadhyay said, “I am going through necessary interviews to appear as party in person in the court and when I succeed in this, then I would appear in court to argue for my plea.”
“According to Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India, every citizen of India has a right to practice and propagate religion, and therefore the order passed by the district collector is illegal and hence it should be quashed,” reads the plea.Demanding amendments in the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, he said, “The act violates the freedom of practising desirable religion or atheism which is guaranteed by Constitution of India and therefore it should be amended to secure the freedom as given by the Constitution.”Upadhyay, who belongs to the Guru-Brahmin caste, a scheduled caste (SC), told TOI, “My appeals to be known as an atheist or secular person were cancelled by the authorities, so I approached the HC.
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