My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist!!

Posted by jyoti sah
June 11, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

I’m sure the title must have caught your attention. Now, let’s talk about how this title is related to our everyday life.

One question before we go into details of this: What’s in the name? How is it important for our living? Why do we need a name? More importantly, why do we need the last name?

Our name has “everything” to do with our life on earth. Starting with us coming into this world to us leaving this all in simple terms, we need a name to certify that you were born to the death certificate.

We all know (most of us) about the name change chaos happen in the previously called Aurangzeb Road in Delhi. After a long debate, the govt, changed it to “Dr A P J Kalam road”. This was done on the basis of the historical knowledge among people who basically know that about Aurangzeb was cruel and his hatred towards other religions and his atrocities towards Hindus and temples.(More can be read on the article written in the Indian Express

The name of the road was changed on the notion perceived by the majority of people about Aurangzeb. Even though many historians (Ideally the history experts) have argued against this that there is also proof of charity done by Aurangzeb towards Hindus.

Let’s talk about our names. In the Indian context, our last name is the indicator of the caste we belong to (Majority cases). Most of the examination/college/entrance forms you fill in everywhere it’s compulsory to put in your last name.  This issue is raised many times and argued for the elimination of this practice as this give rise to caste-based discrimination.

Recently, I visited Gorakhpur district (For easy connection, the present elected UP CM is from here) and it also has the world’s longest railway station (Less known fact). When you travel to Gorakhpur by train, before reaching the longest railway station, the train crosses the small station called “domingarh” and most of the trains stop here for a minute or so for platforms to be cleared at the main Gorakhpur station.

The interesting catch here is the name of the place “domingarh”. Now, think of the closest thing you can relate to this name!! To most of the people living in cities, it may sound closest to “Dominos” like it did to me. But it’s nowhere near that. I got to know later by a local that this city is named domingarh because most of the people living here belonged to “Domin/Doming” caste, which comes under “Sutra category” and King of this place also belonged to the Domin caste. As per the caste system, people belonging to “Domin” caste main occupation is Pig breeding. A few years back, there was a discussion on changing the name of this place to “Gorakhpur city” but was not changed. (Please note: this information is based on the conversation with the locals, Google Baba couldn’t give any information/document on this)

What point I’m trying to make- on one side we say that India is moving towards the development and through the reservation and economic support schemes are trying to get people on the similar economic ground. Aren’t by naming the place on the basis of caste, we are motivating the people to differentiate people on caste basis!!

Even our constitution says that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of one’s caste, sex, religion, etc.  I have not studied law, but on the basis of my knowledge and understanding of the fundamental rights, no one has to discriminate people on the basis of caste.

Isn’t naming places on the basis of caste is raising the threat to our fundamental rights. If Aurangzeb road could be changed on the basis of history, shouldn’t we change the name of places like domingarh? Our success shall be measured on what is our last name?

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