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All of you, yes, all of you need to drop your caste-name as surname if India is to produce a casteless society, is the clarion call of Anbumani Ramadoss.
The former Union health minister writes in The Hindu:
“It would be naive to assume that dispensing with caste names will lead to a casteless society. Caste names are only part of the problem rather than the solution. There is no pat solution for this dilemma. The adoption of generic names would be a small but definite step towards eradicating caste from this society.
“To bring about a caste-free society, not only caste (brand names) but also the mindset of the developed sections towards their less fortunate brethren should change. Social justice can be achieved only when all sections of society have a level playing-field socially, educationally and economically.
“To bring about this change, we need to acknowledge the centuries of discrimination faced by the oppressed sections. For significant progress to be made, in our quest for social equality, the developed class should cease looking on in amused contempt of and derision towards its less developed counterparts.
“It is easy enough to dismiss a name or rather the implications of a name as being unimportant and preposterous. But let us not be ostrich-like.”
Read the full article: What is in a name?
Photograph: As part of his padayatra in Dalit colonies, Sri Vishvesha Teertha swamiji of the Pejawar Mutt, lights the lamp at a Dalit home in Kailashapura in Mysore on Monday. (Karnataka Photo News)
Also read: What’s in a name? What’s in a bold-faced name?
What’s in a name? What’s in a set of initials?
What’s in your name? What’s in your naamam?
What’s in a name? Divinity, but defeat too
i have already done this…first added caste-name as surname to my kids (only as a normal practice); then realized it reflects my caste…then dropped caste-name as surname in my kids official names…
this way we can avoid branding our future generations in the name of caste
hope he did not perform any sort of cleansing ritual after visiting these colonies…
Well, I normally don’t give my surname anywhere and make people tired guessing it.
It’s usual to ask surnames even in software companies. Cheap people of Manmohan’s open market money who have reached positions unable to be worthy of it.
Give everyone a numberical surname, like Nokia N82, everyone can have Mahesh K51, Deve420 etc
Thanks Anbumani, but regardless of what an Iyer/Iyengar calls himself in TN, he and his family are required to tick the box marked “FC” [forward caste] in all applications, and mark themselves out to be discriminated against.
Trust you to come up with such a comment. You never fail the ‘bullshit test’, eh?
Can you elaborate on your ‘usual to ask surnames even in software companies’ statement? I’m interested to hear.
By the way, Murthy is your last name, isn’t it?
> I normally don’t give my surname anywhere and make people tired guessing it
So you play a game of quiz, eh? What is the reward? Vinay got it in 1st try….
His name “Ramadoss” has led to a communal society. He should change it immediately to a non-Hindu, non-Abrahamic, non-Greek… non-name, in the larger interest of our society. (Silly fellow.)
How about whole of India changing its last name to “Gandhi” and putting a cap on head.. It will rob the sheen off the family at 10 Janpath.
Is it not ironic that when the religious people are attempting to do away with castes, the government and politicians want the people and the society to be cast in castes!
Look who is giving us a lecture about caste. Anbumani Ramdoss and his father have made a career out of their caste. His PMK is all about Vanniyars. And here we poor mortals have to listen to such words of wisdom from these filthy politicians.
Thats the beauty of the G-family influenced poitical system of ours. Even if you want to, they will never allow you to complete get rid of your caste.
We need to build a spirit of homogeneity amongst all citizens first. There should be absolutely no discrimination based on caste in any manner.
A major step which should be taken should be to remove all caste based reservations (SC, ST) from eductional institutions.
How about “swamiji” as the universal surname? Look how Venkataramana Bhat, an orthodox Madhwa Brahmin, transformed himself into a Dalit-loving radical after he became “swamiji.”! Would the transformation have happened if he were to still call himself “Bhat”?
However, a problem may arise. Our Hindu clergy may object if those not ordained into the saintly order go about calling themselves “swamijis.” We all need to put our heads together to find a solution.
My surname is Sharma and at school people often asked me why I was a non-vegetarian being a Brahmin. So in I changed it to Chaaba. It was a good idea, as in University our caste-based lecturers hated the Brahmins, but never got to know I was one! I must say having a general tag is much peaceful than being an ‘Upper Caste.’
Stick with names and initials like we generally do in the south.
Regardless, surnames can be associated to a caste only if you are from the same region. I for one don’t know the caste of a Mohapatra or a Rawat, and if they are caste names, don’t know where to place them in a hierarchy even if I wanted to.
The “Murthy” is almost always a suffix. Doesn’t indicate caste by itself.
Swamiji is a sanyasi who has severed all personal ties with society and as is the norm has even completed his own antima samskara leaving nothing for anyone of this world to do for him. So he has no worldly attachments in principle.
On the lighter side, people will still find a way to convey what caste and state they come from over the phone. For instance,
“Hi I am ‘tonty-tonty-five-eh-siva-chami’ and I am galling frum yaarport”
To the astute man listening at the other end its easy to decode the origin and sophistication of the caller.
Like some one who observed, this netherhole Ramdoss himself has made a living out of caste being a ‘caste-selvan’; he is now masquerading as a ‘thalivar of nameless netherholes’…
Yenjay the name-calling da!
Beyond name-calling and name-changing
Tamilnadu people are using their father name as last name. The women are using their husband name as last name. All the Indian states expect Tamilnadu use the caste name as last name. We eradicate the caste in our names about 40 years ago. usually in our passports we have our own name and father name as full name.
Vishvesha Teertha’s efforts are to be appreciated and supported.
Complaining about Christian and Muslim proselytes trying to convert dalits and tribals is the easy way. But is illegal and immoral to stop a dalit or tribal from converting if they see a better life for themselves due to the conversion. The dalit or tribal should decide, and they would go by experiences of those who did convert and made a better life for themselves.
This swami’s actions are a step in the right direction.
Any reformer or religious head who has recognized this and is making an attempt to do away with the weakening practices of the past – deserves our full support.
While caste names, markings and other visible symbols were used in the past to discriminate and keep others in their place, it is BS to ask someone to drop their caste name. While it might make practical sense for a dalit to drop their caste name from being discriminated as Ambedkar suggested – the real change can only come from the choices of the religious head and the Hindus themselves.
If fundamental change in outlook towards caste happens, keeping or dropping caste name becomes irrelevant and purely a personal/cultural choice.
reply to pejawara
Have they stopped the “Special” prasada lunches at the Udupi temple ?
(The lunch is served separately for the “initiated”).