Comparing a Muslim name to Hitler is not only factually wrong but also boorish

Published: July 22, 2017
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Two hours after being born, ‘Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi’ was trending on Twitter and even after six months, his name still haunt many of us Indians. PHOTO: TWITTER.

Gone are the days when naming a baby was a simple task. However, the millennial city-bred parents are different. Their babies names are no longer about sounding meaningful, cute or easy to pronounce. In fact, the more difficult the name is to remember, the better. This is the reason why we have names ranging from Viviaan, Aarav, Riyan to Niarra, instead of Amit, Sumit, Rohit and/or Neha.

Talking about the celebrity class, well, they are a step ahead of thinking outside the box. This is inherently why they all have babies with such unique names – no cattle class would even dare to come up with the names they think of. Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan’s ‘AbRam’, Shahid Kapoor and Mira Kapoor’s ‘Misha’, Genelia D’Souza and Riteish Deshmukh’s ‘Rahyl’ and Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s ‘Taimur’ are few such examples.

Two hours after he was born, ‘Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi’ was trending on Twitter and even after six months, his name still haunts many of us Indians, so much that a woman wrote an open letter to his mother for choosing the name. Yes, because, when it comes to our sentiments, Shakespeare’s, ‘What’s in a name…’ stands obsolete.

Time and again, people have been questioning the audacity of the star couple for naming their child after the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur. Timur was known for his acerbic personality and is infamously remembered in India for the Delhi, Punjab and Loni massacre that killed numerous Indians, out of which most were non-Muslims.

In an interview after the controversy had spiked, Kapoor cleared the air by giving a disclaimer that the name has no resemblance to any person, living or dead. However, she is still shamed regularly. The reason? Well, in a candid conversation with Neha Dhupia on her chat show, No Filter Neha, Kareena had mentioned,

“Saif is a historian and would want a traditional old school name.”

And we all know that with the rising access to social media, people never forgive and they never forget.

The open letter in question tells Kapoor that “the name Taimur is to India, what Hitler is to Israel” – a country with a majority Jewish population. Is this analogy correct? Well, sentiment-wise perhaps, but not factually. Because while Hitler massacred only Jews, the genocidal Timur not only slaughtered lakhs of Hindus in the north west of India, but he also massacred countless Muslims in Turkey and Iran.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

While the name stings the Hindus in India as they feel a sense of betrayal, Muslims too don’t seem to be impressed by Khan. The reason being, this harsh war-like name is not only contrary to the Prophetic traditions of Islam but also a betrayal of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) guidance to good Muslim names.

So the star couple is in a big soup, either way. According to fundamentalists, neither is Kapoor a responsible Hindu and/or Indian, nor is Khan a responsible Muslim and/or Indian. As if the pride of their religion along with nationalism stands solely on their shoulders, similar to the way ghar ki izzat (family’s reputation) apparently rests on the way a girl chooses to dress.

We wonder if both Khan and Kapoor dug up as much history and religion while naming their baby as strangers are doing for them. Now that the name gained widespread criticism, Khan has cleared out the air that his son goes by the name Taimur (meaning iron in Turkish) and not Timur, the Timurid conqueror.

Moreover, if new age people reading books and connecting dots have a problem with Taimur, they would even have issues with other names including Shah Rukh. Oh yes, Timur’s son and heir was Shah Rukh. Oops.

But contrary to all these controversies and theories, you’ll realise that all Saifeena did was jump into the herd of the millennial celeb parents to ‘give their child a different name’. After all, the latest fad and obsession of giving strange and unique names to one’s munchkin is a worldwide epidemic now.

With unique celebrity baby names of B-Town couples already in place such as AbRam, Rahyl, Hrehaan, Viaan, Aaradhya, Nysa, Nitara, Hridhaan, Arin, Iqra, Kian, Myra, Haroon and more, how could Saifeena be left out? Besides, Kapoor has been vocal how much she loves the sound of the name!

These days, no parents want boring names for their kids – apologies, Jyotis and Amits, Farheens and Imraans, Patricks and Patricias!

In this day and age where anybody and everybody gets offended by just about anything, it seems that celebrity couples (especially inter-religious ones) will have to pass the litmus test of the ‘log kya kahangay(what will people say) syndrome before they name their own ‘bundle of joy’!

Deepti Verma

Deepti Verma

The author is co-founder of NationalViews.com - an online portal for articulating opinions, views that needs national as well as global attention. She tweets @universal_rover (twitter.com/universal_rover?lang=en)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Yogi Berra

    Indians should ensure that they regret naming their son Taimur. Do not watch their movies and then they will come to their senses.Recommend

  • kp

    its choice of kareen ali khan to name her son as Timoor or osama bin laden, its their personal matterRecommend

  • AR Mallick

    Taimour is a beautiful name and matching to big people does not make any difference at all. The context it saw said/used is perfectly ok. God Bless Taimour along with his mom and dad.Recommend

  • Khalid

    I could recall Saadat Hasan Manto’s famous short story “Yazeed”. In this story, a villager names his new-born son “Yazeed”, the infamous ruler who had sent the army that had deprived the holy caravan of the Prophet’s grandson of water. The reason for thus naming the the baby as described by his father was that in contrast to the evil action of the historical ruler, his son would provide water to the all the villagers who had earlier been deprived of it.
    Maybe, Manto’s short story was lingering in the back of Said Ali Khan’s mind when he named his son as Taimur. Maybe he meant that while the historic Taimur massacred hundreds of thousands, this infant will be a harbinger of peace for all the people. God bless all!Recommend

  • hp kumar

    I advocate total ban of muslim marrying hindu girls in india.These guys r really backward to be honest.They live in past and want to drag us to their level.if we indian wants to compete with country like US and China ,we cannot keep half of population of under certain restrictions.Hindus have apprehension about their girls marrying muslim.Better put restricitions on these unproductive set of people from a particular religion and have all freedom for our girl.Otherwise we have big hurdle in achieving our development goals.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Deepti there is no point in putting logic to muslims or cajoling them to agree to some point.see whats happening in kashmir.GOI sent peace activists to pacify them.The result of which is for all to see.later army have to resort to pellet guns and what not.So i dont know for what you r writing this blog.when time will we know how to deal with this upcoming devil.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Zorastrians who ran away from Iran/Persia to save their life and became native Indians didn’t have problem in naming their kids Dhondy. Karunanidhi names his son as Stalin who though led a fight against Hitler butchered million innocent Soviets. Today no Russian or Georgian names his kid Stalin, but Indian crooks and criminals do. But their days are numbered. Real progeny of Taimur is thoroughly Indianized and living honest life http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2424410/The-Mughal-emperor-ancestor-Sultana-Begum-forced-live-slum-washes-street-struggles-feed-children.htmlRecommend

  • wb

    If you don’t know the meaning of a word, best avoid using it. You kept regurgitating the word millennials. What Millennial? Saif Ali Khan has lived more than 2/3rd of his life. The man is old enough to be a grand dad. The man reached his adulthood in the 90s. He’s not a millennial. And neither is Kareena who has lived half of her life already.

    Recommend

  • Patwari

    Cyber warriors brigade is on it’s way!! With the vitriol and hate.
    Kudos to the author for having the courage to write this article.
    Proves there are still sane voices in the New Extremist Bharat.
    Hindustanis should look in the mirror before they compare Kareena’s
    baby’s name to Hitler.. After all they elected the Butcher of Gujrat as PM.
    Everyone knows that Modi Sarkar has blood on his hands. That from the
    the current ongoing spate of Muslim hangings. All over Hindia.
    The various other Muslim massacres under him in Gujrat are a different
    chapter and verse. All his visas were revoked by all countries. Except Bhutan.
    Modi Sarkar condones these murders/hangings. He never condemned them.
    Rather his silence is taken as a green light by murderous RSS/BJP/Shiv Sena
    thugs, With the all covering pardon of Gau Raksha.
    Be careful now, Modi Sarkar can unleash his thugs on anyone he chooses
    in the Vermilion Nation….karma.Recommend

  • harkol

    While what one names their kids is strictly their private affair, I do feel bad for the kids who have to grow up with a name with negative connotations.

    What timur did in Turkey or Iran is not of concern to the environment where Saif-Kareena kid will grow up. It is like naming a kid Kasab, because Kasab didn’t enquire the religion of folks he shot…

    I am sure they could’ve thought up a better name, that the kid won’t feel unhappy to grow up with. But they chose this… very well… Kid has to live with it…Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Real Mongols or original Turks r reverting back to Dharma. In 1991 I met two VLSI engineers in Bell Labs, Holmdel NJ. They told me that they were Mongolians. I expected Chinese like names but they told their names were Sashank and Anand. Our corrupt parasite r taking meaningless foreign names to flaunt air heady rootlessness.Recommend

  • Rana

    Muslim don’t have any peaceful icon to name they have mostly invaders,looters as their pride.Recommend

  • wb

    It’s not their personal matter. They’re public figures who have what they have not because they have iota of talent, but because they’re born into white racist families of Bollywood who control Bollywood like MFIAS. So, they owe a lot…forgive me…they owe everything to the people of India. And they are answerable to people of India.

    Let one of them say that it is our private matter and you get lost and see the backlash! People will boycott their movies and start giving them flops.Recommend

  • wb

    I completely agree with you. But the idiot HIndi speakers are too stupid to understand this.Recommend

  • wb

    Yazeed was probably a very good man resisting the spread of evil. Because almost all your stories have portrayed villains as heroes and heroes as villains.

    Another example of a Hero was Abu Hakam, who is portrayed as a villain in your story. Similarly Huyyay Bin Akhtab. All good people called as evil.Recommend

  • angrybird

    frankly speaking. that name is a filthRecommend

  • Sushil Chadha

    Why don”t U name ur son BAGHDADIRecommend

  • Salim Alvi

    In 1991 met two Mongol (Original Turks) VLSI engineers in Bell Labs in NJ with names Sashank & Anand. Our 3rd pager of toilet elite r not different from Royal Anglophone Pakistani elite. Both flaunt their rootlessness. Mao sent as part of cultural revolution their air heady elite to work on the farms. We need more steel on our farms for the plough.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi
  • MJ

    Kids are being still named Osama… not in admiration of Bin Laden, it is just a popular name. Similarly people who have named or still name their boys Taimur do so because it is a good sounding name with admirable meanings …. Taimur means made of steel.
    Ram, Lakshman, Ravan, Indirajit, Yadu, Ashok, Krishna, Shivaji etc. were warriors and kings in history who killed multiple times more Hindus than Taimur could ever dream of, however Indians still give their boys these popular names … nobody raises an eybrow when Hindus name their kids after these mass murderers … hypocrisy much?

    Also people in US still name their kids Tim or Timothy, not because Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for OKC bombing, was their idol or hero. Get over your obsession with Taimur. Saif and his wife are not celebrating Taimur Lane or validating him. It is Indians and people like you who are trying to make that connection.Recommend

  • umair usman

    Taimur is an offensive name? this was 700 years ago guys, grow up and move onRecommend

  • Slumwood Fantacy

    From filth always born a filth.that is true for particular religion.i guess you know that. Thats why never came a good thing from that particular religion. check history.Recommend

  • Slumwood Fantacy

    That filth adapts and spread like virus.pest control is needed.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Buddy,saifs movie is already not doing well.kareena is out of the game.so writing on the wall is clear.problem is that we have so many commies and congress supporter still looking for them.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Spot on.. You stole my words… As G.B. Shaw said – “The reasonable man adapts to the world, the unreasonable man tries to get the world adapt to him. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” No prizes for guessing who the unreasonable man is.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Very True… Years of foreign rule followed by Congress rule for 70 years has induced spinelessness in our folks… Fortunately we now have someone who doesn’t cater to this idiocies – holding iftars, wearing skullcaps reminiscent of toxic ideology…Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Why don’t you muslim grow up for a moment and stop glorifying murderers like timur,abdali,gajni,osama…etc..and if you don’t change that’s why world is giving you back .Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Saif Ali Khan will lose his ancestral property in Bhopal.
    The government of India has enacted the new Enemy Property Act and Saif will run like a monkey now.Recommend

  • G. Din

    The obligatory Al-Bakr, too!Recommend

  • G. Din

    Association is the basic motivator of opinions. Taimoor has an ugly association.Recommend

  • MJ

    You have been conditioned to associate this name to a certain opinion. Conditioned to hate for the sake of hate. Nobody names their kids “Jinnah” in Pakistan because it is a defunct name, not because people don’t like him or don’t praise him. You did not comment on the list of popular Hindu names that are associated with mass murderers in my comment above. Is it because the killers and the ones being killed were of the same faith, or is it because they were local… that the kids are still being given these names?Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Shivaji, the great, Shri Ram, Krishna or even Ravan did not kill people for faith of the people and definitely not innocent non-combatants like this Taimoor brute. He was sadistic brute. Jinah was telling Churchill that he also has Semitic/Jewish name like him and most EUian colonialists, he is also by faith a foreigner to Indians like him, because of which he is heir to British rule, after British leave. Taimoor is a curse, which air heady uneducated bollywoody crooks r not aware of it, just as Jinah’s fake alienness.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Only a weak man adapts to the world. Only a strong man has the courage to try and change the world.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Who cares. Like if they want to name their kid Taimur or Changez or SriKrishna Ramaswami. Its their little brat.

    People need to mind their own bs.Recommend

  • Yogi Berra

    Tumhare Muh Me Shakkar!Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Real ancestor of this wannabe Mongoli is Babar’s love, one 14 year old Babri. This teenager lover spent his night in Urdu, Turki army tent with Babar. Babar immortalized his love by penning first Urdu couplet/shayari describing Babri’s shinny rear. The fake Khan should honor his ancestor Babri by giving his son name Babri Khan or Babri Kumar. Babri kumar khan will be millenial sickular name. Anglos especially New Yorki ones will be able to relate to it since it is so close in pronunciation to Barbie Doll.Recommend

  • MJ

    Taimur also did not kill people for their faith. He killed more Muslims than Hindus, not only Shias but Sunnis as well. He was a warlord a conqueror, lusting after money, land and power. He was an equal opportunity killer, he did not attack India to kill Hindus. Let me brush up your history … when he attacked this area, he defeated the army of Tughlaq in Delhi, most of which was Muslims. On his way to Delhi he ransacked Multan, another Muslim majority city at the time. He established a vast empire a vast empire which included Transoxiana, a part of Turkistan, Afghanistan, Persia, Syria, Qurdistan, Baghdad, Georgia and the major part of Asia Minor. Just like Alexander, Changez Khan etc. he was a conqueror who wanted to take over lands and loot their riches.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Google Daughter in law of Kalyan Subhedar. Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Shiva = pure consciousness original wave/vibration in it is Om, Bedouin Hindu’s Amen.

    VishNu= That which exists in every creation right from Anu/atom to universes. So spreads with human mind.

    RaMa = Light within oneself.

    LakshaMan= 1 pointed focus is real Man/mind.Recommend

  • MJ

    That is just dumb.
    Baghdadi means someone from Bagdad.
    Just like you have people with names, Rangoonwaala, Mumbaiwaala etc. in India. Someone in Kerala will not name their locally born son Dilli-waala.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Which god? Why not Goddess? Especially Mumba Devi or MumbAi (Mumb Ai/mother). Going native is good for environment & so also in naming kids is good for kid’s mental environment. Kid should be named Dhondiba Mumbaikar or specifically Vandrekar. He is not born poor so shud not have last name Kapoor. Khans r from Mongolia, so that is not good last name. These days even Mongolians dont want this last name. Alien names makes one rootless parasite. Parasite sucks the blood of the host. Islamic name, Italian name make the person dumb and corrupt.Recommend

  • Webendenter

    Baby name matters depending on your religion background.Recommend