- Don’t mention it to your school, college, etc. Most likely they are fanatical religious fundies of the Hindu, Christian or Islamic persuasion.
2. Tick the ‘others’ option when filling out details for admission into a school or college. If you are registered as a Catholic and you ticked the Catholic box when taking admission into a Catholic institution but you “de-converted”, the school/college still expects you to attend religious functions and they will not hesitate to harass you for avoiding it. They will threaten you with suspension, expulsion and even manipulation of your attendance to stop you from doing your exams.
3. Be very careful about mentioning your lack of belief to anyone and be wary that no one around you should overhear (Especially in Laban locality and in rural areas) Lack of belief = serious crime, in the minds of people here. You might get assaulted by a mob and worse you might be lynched. This is true for all religious persuasions.
4. Standing up for what you believe in is good, but right now if you are a student it is not worth dying for. Compromise, lie through your teeth and all that it entails to avoid discrimination, harassment and death. Don’t die.
5. To all my fellow atheists/agnostics out there, stay safe people. Remember you are not alone.
First published in Surviving Life in Meghalaya blog
Raiot Collective : There are quite a few Meghalaya-based agnostic/atheist/humanist/skeptic groups on Facebook. Oldest, Shillong Humanists is still a good place to start. Even NEHU has its own skeptic students group. Or, if these don’t suit you, why not start one of your own?