JournalismPakistan.com December 23, 2016
Islamophobia is thinking that anyone with a beard is going to hijack your plane.
Islamophobia is travelling to the west, and the computer circling parts of your name — like Vikram becoming ‘Ikram’ or Gitanjali becoming ‘Ali’ — and then being taken in for another interrogation.
Islamophobia is Donald Trump keeping out people belonging to a religion from the US.
It is not naming your baby Taimur because suddenly someone has figured out that Taimur was an invader — and gee! We cannot have that sort of insensitive naming of some film star couple’s baby. Because don’t you know, it is a huge sociological issue and would tear down the portals of our faith?
Ambassadors being assassinated, people being massacred in Aleppo, boat people drowning, and trucks mowing down innocents in terror attacks — but the big story is Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor insulting our feelings by naming their kid Taimur.
Get over it.
Half of India (if not more) has no clue who Taimur is. After some RSS folks made it an issue, people must have Googled the name to figure out what the hell it was all about. Even the newly minted parents probably hadn’t figured it out. Probably just liked the sound of the name. "Okay, Tai-mooooor, fine, let’s call the baby that."
Besides it being none of our business (any which way you hack it) and instead of wishing the couple all the best and asking after the baby and sort of saying "Congratulations, hope mother and baby are doing well", we are robbing them of the sheer joy of having given a safe birth.
Come on, this is infantile conduct. Ivan the Terrible didn’t stop Lendl’s family from saying, "Oh we cannot call our to-be-tennis genius by this name". Jack the Ripper, Jack Ruby and there about a million Jacks in the world.
A couple called their child Adolf Hitler in 2015. Another named his baby Cannon. Two babies in Harlem were called Winner and Loser; one became a criminal, the other a cop. Lucifer, another name for Satan, is common in the US. Here at home in Tamil Nadu, nobody asked Karunanidhi why he named his son Stalin.
Ask yourselves, are we really so bereft of something valuable to do with our day that we would whip up a storm about a couple having a name for their baby that is utterly and totally irrelevant to this time and age.
Taimur doesn’t even ring a bell. If this is the yardstick, we should ban Akbar, Aurangzeb, Winston (Churchill never forgave Mountbatten for losing India the Empire; now that was the enemy personified, making Taimur seem tame), Nathu, Charlie (remember Manson?), Ravan (unless you spell it Ra-One).
India’s list of 21st century criminals include Dawood, Parminder, Tulsiram, Rajan and Laxman, Mohan — just to name a few random ones. Should the hundreds of thousands of people with these names be given a hard time?
If our sensitivities are so sensitive that naming a newborn baby is seen as a deliberate effort to hurt feelings, then we are really in bad shape.
Leave it alone and have the maturity to just wish them all well and get on with our lives.
As if a little baby called Taimur would collapse Indian culture, Indian heritage and Indian tradition.
What has gone wrong with us?
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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