Monday, February 25, 2008

Feminism: A Practical Approach

Mad Momma (making a comeback on this blog after 12 posts!) has made a very passionate point about how the chauvinistic and patriarchal Indian society refuses to acknowledge the mother's identity in the child's name.
Her logic sounded very rational to me but like any half-decent sales manager, I always try to check out the feasibility of rational ideas.
So, I thought of this chain of events...

Imagine a scenario in the early 1970's, where one Debapriya Chaudhuri and one Reeta Dutta are brought together by their respective families in holy matrimony and they are blessed with a bonny (!) baby boy. In true equalist tradition, they name him Diptakirti Dutta Chaudhuri. (They also have a daughter - but let's not confuse matters for now.)
A few years later, a young officer of the Indian Navy - Subroto Guha - is married to Nandini Bose. They are blessed with a bonnier baby girl and she is named Trishna Bose Guha. (Their second-born, a son, is kept aside for now.)
The aforementioned son and daughter meet - at their respective families' behest - and decide to spend their lives together. Their son is christened (in keeping with the tradition) Dyujoy Dutta Chaudhuri Bose Guha.
If you are wondering whether Dyujoy is ever going to get time to answer questions in his exams (after writing his name) or if he will have A4-sized PAN cards, then I would urge you to think one generation ahead.
Dyujoy falls in love with his Marathi classmate in college and gets married to her, who is also from a household firmly believing in gender equality.
So, can you guess what the names of the children of the aforementioned Dyujoy and Swati Mangeshkar Patil Bhonsle Patankar going to be?
I am not envisaging a scenario if the girl of choice is a South Indian instead of Marathi, because I am not sure if Blogger allows that much memory for individual accounts.

I think, in order to avoid telephone directories the size of asteroids and school application forms that would kill 14 trees to produce, we have to have a more practical solution.
Junk the surname altogether!
Have uncommon names like Diptakirti, Hiranyava, Zebesco, Makaibari, Horatio, Perestroika, Kapaalkundala - which will be enough to identify a person. Then, we will avoid the entire chaos of having to add both parent's surnames to the poor fellow's name and exam papers will get answered.

With this problem behind us, we can start an entirely new discussion on whether children should be allowed to resemble the father more or the mother. With advances in genetic engineering, I am sure in a couple of decades, Dyujoy will propose a simple and elegant solution on his blog.
Just like his father did today!
Post a Comment