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Why Is Only My Father’s Name So Important For My Legal Existence?

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By Mayank Jain:

Keeping the whole debate about feminism aside, I have a question to ask that’s troubling me for a long time now: Why do all the forms we ever encounter ask only for the fathers’ name? Is having a father so important to a person’s legal existence?

This is the issue we have all dealt with, at some point or the other when our fathers were given more importance than our mothers as if they were the ones who kept us for 9 months and nurtured us day and night. There is no debate on a father’s role in a child’s lifetime but the over emphasis makes me sick.

forms

A friend’s observation forced me to write this post. She is a student of a premier all girls’ college in University of Delhi which is supposed to be the best in India but she found no mention of her mother’s name anywhere in any important document. This is what happens when someone with a single mother decides to fill a form for a public institution: Questions about father and his father are asked again and again until the scars of the past become wounds again. It is indeed a harrowing experience being asked about someone who isn’t in your life anymore and giving no importance to your mother who raised you facing all odds and still never gets to be an important part of the whole process.

The picture of her admit card shows how her identity is based on his father’s name and nobody will ever identify her if she spells out her mother’s name because it’s nowhere in the document:

Card

This came as a stunning revelation to me and it stinks of patriarchy from an institution where every student is female, having the name of your father is of utmost importance. When I dug deep into my pockets and found out my own identification cards from various places, I was in for a surprise.

I looked at my driving license and it had my father’s name with no mention of my mother. The story was same for my college ID card, my library cards as well as my voter ID card and PAN card.

This is a classic example of hypocrisy and lack of empathy from agencies that propagate themselves as against discrimination and inequality. While this deals with emotional and social aspect of having to disclose your father’s name every time you try to get something done but it makes no sense logically too. Everyone can have only one mother while fathers can be possibly more than one.

There is a need to replace that field asking for ‘Father’s name’ with ‘Parent’s Name’ and it should be done as soon as possible to stop victimization of every other child who isn’t aware of or doesn’t want to disclose his fathers’ identity.

Being a girl, my friend wants to see her mother’s name on everything important too and I dream of the day when there won’t be a need for anyone to be ashamed for not having a perfect ancestry and this starts from adding that field for ‘Mother’s Name’.

You must be to comment.
  1. Fuckpatriarchy

    Finally!
    It isn’t just about the unwillingness to disclose the father’s identity. Even a person who wasn’t brought up by a single mother, who has a whole family, should her mother’s identity remain worthless just because she has a father? Should mothers come before fathers only in the absence of the latter? It’s the same everywhere. Mothers are natural guardians of a child only if the father is ‘unfit’. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe forms should have provisions for the names of both parents, with the option of leaving one blank? That way, we won’t have to choose if we don’t want to. This coming from someone whose Aadhar card caused a storm at home for bearing her mother’s name.

    1. Mayank Jain

      This is exactly my point. Mothers can’t be sidelined for all their efforts and hardships they go through all their lives. Its indeed a sad state of affairs but I am hoping that this article reaches at the right place and people fight for it.

  2. fuckfeministterrorism

    Why do not you bring up the class 10 class 12 mark sheet,Mother’s name come before the father’s name.It really saddens me when i See the core issue of feminists is to have dominance over men not the female rights.They will fight,why do not we write “RASHTRPATNI” instead of RASHTRAPATi rather than going to chattisgarh and witness what is like to be women in India. Now they are getting biased anti male laws and they are jumping in happiness. But remember “to every action there is equal and opposite reaction” and This time reaction gonna be harder.”Long live my Brothers” who are tired of these feminists.

    1. Fuckpatriarchy

      Wow. You really need to get your facts right. Recognise your male privilege and move on, Sir. For the likes of you, the journey is definitely not going to be easy. Good luck.

    2. ila

      dude
      Please chill out
      its only asking for a small change
      is the thought so revolting to you?
      what if the child does not have a father whom he/she knows of?
      or what if all tires with the father are estranged?
      unlike you I would like to vouch for parent’s or guardian’s name format on the form.
      and Please don’t be so scared of feminism; for those who believe in what they do are never really scared to be challenged.

    3. Shikha

      You can support this cause @AskHERnametoo and posting your thoughts and images of forms at
      #AskHERnametoo.

  3. Mahitha Kasireddi

    This is indeed a bold revoking !! And yes, Feminism though cannot be separated, has a far relation to this context.

    1. Shikha

      You can support this cause @AskHERnametoo and posting your thoughts and images of forms at
      #AskHERnametoo.

  4. LEGAL BUDDY

    Almighty never created this thought. We human felt the same, as in olden days, when man marry many women then to have a identification of the child father has been important (just like in maths we call it ‘subset’, or in environment study ‘branches’ etc). However, time changed and many theories of past (rituals) needs modification and this being one of them. We need to have such forum to raise the voice and implement as no one would come and change the system, as next generations we need to stand for what we want and how we want.

    1. Shikha

      You can support this cause @AskHERnametoo and posting your thoughts and images of forms at
      #AskHERnametoo.

  5. Swati

    well in this regard, there has been a feminist move, we do have mother’s name in many forms and id’s. i have my mom’s name in my I card( DU)and i have encountered many forms where the mother’s name is asked,at times the column appears before the father’s. but the unfortunate reality is larger than this..we are known by our father’s name, we adopt their surname, only father’s name can do but not only mother’s name..this is the nature of our patriarchal set-up…the roots go deeper. why it is that the women goes to the husband’s house, why she bears his family lineage in the form of children? and can we upside down evrything? too diffuclt..so at least let women have an equal status in evrything, wherevr we can..change the mindset…start with urself…i hope ur wife will nt be called ——- jain.

  6. Neha Jha

    I have also had these thoughts in my mind! My mother also feels the same way. Moms do everything. And, to be honest, if your mom is financially independent, there is no need of a father. Maybe, because people feel that a woman who is not ready to disclose the name of the father must have had pre-marital sex or something of that sort. That creates further complications because our society is already judgmental about single women!

    1. Shikha

      You can support this cause @AskHERnametoo and posting your thoughts and images of forms at
      #AskHERnametoo.

  7. ayan

    That is nothing but the extension of the traditional concept that the father is the only guardian of the family. if we do not agree with the concept or came out from that then mother’s name can also suffice to identify of the student or the person related to…

  8. Jahnavi Gupta

    Yes we need to change the narrow mindedness of our society.

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