Modern Indian society is going through an interesting phase in the area of child-naming.
Suddenly realizing his/her global identity, the young Indian parent is breaking traditional conventions while naming his/her kid. Trying to find that perfect balance between modernity and tradition, he/she hopes to build a great brand for the offspring in the society.
Some seem to exercise creativity at dangerous levels when synthesising new names. Some seem to be fascinated by uncommon Sanskrit names. Some want to make sure that the name sounds cool in school, college, corporate, parties, international airports and the other side of the globe. Should I mention the numerology craze that garnishes the confusion ?
While taking too many factors into consideration, the cultural/geographic identity of the kid is sometimes lost in the process of naming. For example, the craze for chic Bollywood style names among some South Indians robs the Southern identity totally.
Anirudhdh. Beautiful name. Krishna’s grandson in Mahabharata. But, who would imagine that this is the name of a Tamil kid ? Well, it is.
It is debatable whether we need to preserve regional identities within a nation. I think India’s richness is largely its diversity. Each region has undergone cultural evolution over millenia. Trying to crudely mix them all in a big culture pot to create uniformity is outrageous.
An easy way to retain the Tamil/Mallu identity while picking up fascinating Sanskrit names is to suffix it with ‘an’. Anirudhdhan ! Well that looks definiely Tamil/Mallu ! Does it sound old fashioned ? I pity those who consider their ancestors an inferior lot. For girl names, we don’t have such an easy suffix algorithm, but there are plenty of Sanskrit names used predominantly by South Indians. Pure Tamil names are on a decline these days. A former colleague of mine was very thoughtful and mature when he was particular in giving a pure Tamil name to his daughter.
I am talking more about South Indian names because I am a South Indian who knows more about South India. I believe these things can be easily applied to other regions to India too.
I can’t help but wonder at the name of my close friend – ‘Devanathan Varadarajan’.
What A Punch !