What is in a name? In Tamil Nadu, a name may be an indicator to one’s political leanings, nationalist passion or the ideology of the parents of the
After India’s independence, especially in southern Tamil Nadu, many were named ‘Bose’ after freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose.
Similarly, the names of ‘Gandhi,’ ‘Nehru’ and ‘Jawahar’ are also common in the state, the objective being perpetuating the hallowed memory of freedom fighters.
Also, pure Tamil names and those in memory of leaders of the Dravidian and Left movement are common.
The subject of names is in focus again as the 16th Tamil Nadu Assembly has two ‘Gandhis’ one of them a Minister, a ‘Nehru’ who is also a Minister and a ‘Stalin’ who is the Chief Minister.
As is well known, late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi (1924-2018) named his son Stalin (Born March 1, 1953) after Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin who died on March 5, 1953.
Though Joseph Stalin may have been a foreign premier and a dictator, Karunanidhi named his son out of his admiration for the Communist ideology.
R Gandhi and KN Nehru, as Ministers for Handlooms-Textiles and Municipal Administration respectively would report to Stalin!
Nehru, a party heavyweight in the Cauvery delta region won from Tiruchirappalli West and Gandhi from Ranipet segment in northern TN and BJP’s MR Gandhi, a veteran party leader emerged victorious in Nagercoil constituency in Kanyakumari district in the April 6 Assembly polls.