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Should Opinion Of The Whole Country Matter To Naming One’s Child?

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In human societies, the introduction of a newborn child in the family is an unambiguously cheerful occasion. However, it appears, that this does not apply to a few segments on social media networks. Tweeters lamented the birth of a child a few days back. Born to renowned Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, the kid had been named Taimur – a very shocking news for a few, given the name’s relationship with a fourteenth-century Turkish ruler and one the world’s best conquerors. A few patriotic Indians on Twitter are so annoyed with his birth that they called the infant “terrorist”, a “jihadi” and, in general, wished death to him.  While it won’t be difficult to reject this as the work of trolls, the honesty of social media has given us an essential window into mentalities that may, somehow or other, not be observed openly. With Hindutva fundamentalism growing day by day, this episode shines a brilliant light upon individuals who solely believe this system.

The Sangh supporters’ protest to the name Taimur is based only on a profoundly established conviction that the Muslim-Asian ruler had purportedly butchered Hindus amid his invasion of India. Hindutva propagates a story of Muslim rule which is mostly historically incorrect and after that, the Hindutva brigade becomes the victim of its own distortion. This mutilated picture of Mughal dynasties anticipated by Hindutva creates a profound feeling of inferiority and hatred.

The correct sense of history is a precarious thing to develop, particularly when individuals are hungry to superimpose moral lessons on them. Who is a saint and who isn’t is, to a great degree, subjective. The past genuinely is a different nation altogether and a bit of creativity is definitely required to make it fit in today’s India.

Kareena Kapoor named her son Taimur, and the Sangh trolls lost their minds. But when BJP’s Kirron Kher named her son Sikander, she obviously did it out of the highest feeling of ‘patriotism’, isn’t it? Alexander is not a hated figure in the Indian mindset, while Taimur unquestionably is.

Also, the name Sikandar has turned into a piece of Indian culture, to such an extent that Amitabh Bachchan’s tune in Muqaddar ka Sikandar lifts up the man as a definitive winner. Invasions and invaders are constantly about wars, and deaths and finally, about compromises with existing rulers. It’s worth recalling that kings and dynasties have all been killers and they have all done it without batting an eyelid. Whom we criticise increasingly and keep on hating is characterised by our separate states of mind to history and the present.

In the eighteenth century, the Marathas attacked Bengal, slaughtering 4,00,000 Bengalis. Repeated attacks and triumphs of neighbouring state Gujarat were likewise, as nearly everything in medieval India was, a fairly violent affair. At the point when a man with Lord Rama in his name grows up to be independent India’s first terrorist, do we quit naming our youngsters Nathu, Nathmal or Ram?

When a ruler named Asoka (Ashoka) murders his 99 siblings, tosses them into Patna’s Agam Kuan, has a dungeon, executes no less than 1,00,000 individuals, and beheads thousands in the skirmish of Kalinga, does it prevent us from naming anyone after him?

All in all, what’s the big deal if Kareena and Saif Ali Khan choose to name their child Taimur – a name connected to a fierce west Asian winner who additionally did what Nathuram, Ashoka and Sikander did – execute, vanquish, take up arms?  I’m glad they didn’t name their son after the bloodthirsty Mahabharata characters who destroyed their own family or the Rajput kings who suffered defeat in every battle. Rajputs have been experts in failures and losing battles.  A thousand years back, Rajput lords managed a lot of North India. But after a point, they lost to Ghazni, lost to Ghori, lost to Khilji, lost to Babur, lost to Akbar, lost to the Marathas, and kneeled before the British. The Marathas and Britishers scarcely check since the Rajputs were nothing but stooges of Mughals after Akbar defeated them. Having been bound to a parched part of the Indian subcontinent by the early Sultans, they were reduced to just vassals by the Mughals.

The shadow of alleged love jihad, which once was a Bharatiya Janata Party’s core strategy itself, just ends up hurting Hindu women. It emphasises that they aren’t allowed to make their own decisions – be it choosing their life partner or something else. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s marriage is ‘Love Jihad’, but Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu’s marriage is, again, the highest form of patriotism through the lens of Bigotry.

After battling with Pakistan, Kashmiris and anti-nationals at home, Sanghis have now stooped to the low of abusing a newborn baby! It’s nothing less than a mental regression. No one drags an infant into their political issues of hate and bigotry. What parents call their own child is no one’s business. Be that as it may, when we call Mera Bharat Mahaan (My Indian is Great), there is definitely a reason for it. Here such insouciance is paraded in the name patriotism, nationalism and Hindutva.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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