All of us have “unique” names, because names give us an identity. Generally, naming conventions depend on the place of your birth, or the community of your parents. In India, some people write their family (father’s surname) name followed by the first name. Some people use the caste name and village name, but do not use the father’s name. There are people who just write their first names. The last group of people become the butt of jokes of insensitive people who are more in number and believe that the name should consists of both first name and surname.
Have you ever thought of writing your name differently, for instance, using first name only? If you have done this, you must be aware of consequences: insult, mockery and blame of disrespecting your parents and family.
Does “not writing surname” imply disrespect for the family?
In fact, using father’s surname is a male chauvinistic approach. What about mother’s name? Why don’t children carry forward mother’s name? Both mother and father are responsible for bringing up the kids. So, kids should use both parents’ name.
Women unlike men are forced to shed their surnames post marriage. Boys are given more importance because children are named after their fathers. This tradition abets crimes against women and ill-treatment of the girl child.
Does “not writing surname” make identification difficult? Or, does writing surname make identification easy?
My answer to the above questions is “No”, because using surname doesn’t ensure that you respect your family or vice versa. For example, most of the criminals (e.g. Dawood Ibrahim) use their surnames. On the other hand, Pablo Picasso, a noted painter, used his mother’s name. Does it mean he disrespected his father and family? There are several people with same first name and same surname, which are written exactly in the same order. For example, on googling for “Anita Sharma” I found 132,000 results representing different people.
I hope many of you will agree with me. However, writing name differently is frustrating.
- While anchoring one of the famous Bollywood award functions, two popular super stars insulted an upcoming film star as he writes his name differently. His name consists of his first name and his father’s first name and his grandfather’s first name. The two super stars mocked at him, “Which kind of name is this? Where is your family name?”
- I am targeted most of the time because I write my first name only. People who target me have many lame excuses and / or use dirty adjectives:
Someone asked me, “Are you a bastard?” It was humiliating.
Computer system does not accept first name only. What should we write in the last name text box that cannot be left empty? But, human beings have developed computer systems and these can be modified to take into account sensibilities of users. If you are a software programmer, you should think about it.
Distinguishing between two similar first names is difficult. But, there are several people with same first name and surname as I mentioned above.
So, which is the most appropriate naming convention?