A 21-year-old Hindu boy Shubham Yadav has brought a ray of positivity in this world blinded by religious hatred. On 29 October, this resident of Alwar, Rajasthan became the first non-Muslim and non-Kashmiri resident to outperform every other of 93 candidates to top the all-India entrance exam in Masters’ of Islamic Studies at Central University of Kashmir (CUK). But he doesn’t think that it is that much of a deal.
He said that he has been getting many calls, including from journalists, who thought that would be very difficult to crack the examination. In reality, he said that it is not. It is like any other subject which deals with law, culture and behaviour.
Shubham is an aspiring civil servant. He told The Print that his curiosity in Islam grew after noticing growing Islamophobia and religious polarisation across the globe. This made him think that in this day and age, it is very important to understand each other’s religion. There are a lot of stereotypes about Islam and Islamic Studies. It is an exploration about Islamic law and culture and not just the study of Muslims. In the future, he believes that the administration will need people who have understanding of religions.
Prof. Hamidullah Marazi, the head of the CUK religious Studies Department, who oversees the course, called Shubham to congratulate him as the list of students who cracked the exam was released. Just more than 40 students were able to make it. The Professor said that it was a delight to see Shubham’s name on the top. Since he started the department in 2015, many non-Kashmiris from across the nation have come to study it was the first time when a non-Muslim topped the list. He added that the identity shouldn’t matter and the students taking interest in various cultures is a positive sign.
Shubham has pursued his graduation in Philosophy and is waiting for the results of many other entrance examinations. His first choice is to pursue law at the Delhi University.
Shubham’s father owns a small business in Rajasthan and his mother is a History teacher. He said that his parents are very liberal when it comes to his education. He said that his parents are very happy with the results and told him to pursue whatever he likes.