Monday, August 9, 2010

Tell me my Name

“If you can tell me your name I can tell your identity,” someone said ages ago. Name stands for identity and rather gives us identity. The name can tell us, our religion, dialect, culture and geographical territory. When we tell our name we get some identities as well as we carry some. Name is something
culturally and dialectically depended but not characteristically or behaviorally.

The traditional name such as Meenakshi, tells us the person’s identities of gender, religion, probably the dialectic and geographical territory but not the character and behavior; such as each and every name has identities rather than a single identity.

The movie My name is Khan is an apt example for identity. Shahrukh Khan who is the protagonist of the movie becomes the victim of identity. In the movie his name is Kahn itself, as the name Khan sounds as a Muslim name, he is perceived as a terrorist. The story further narrates the tragedies that are faced by the protagonist due to his unreal identity (imposed identity).

Of course the name Khan sounds as a Muslim name but that does not mean that the name Khan gives an identity to the person that is of a terrorist. His name gives him an identity of terrorist though he is not actually one.

Do not we segregate people on the name they carry? Don’t we label people based on their names. A person having a Muslim name is automatically identified as terrorist. There are instances where name giving totally absurd identity.

Name is to identity people specifically in a large group of people and it gives an identity as well, but the name should not necessarily travel deep into extremisms such as religious fanaticism and labeling people on his or her name.

The good and bad effects of globalization and modernization further spoiled the identity that name could give us. Globalization paved the way for giving and receiving cultures and reduces the geographical differences.

Hearing some of the modern names we will be really confused that what they really mean, for example the name Kiran. This particular name does not give us the details such as the gender of the person, to which religion the person belongs to, probably the person’s dialect, nor the person’s geographical territory.

Name is just a name to identify us form a group of people, we take the name of the people to address them, to call them and to greet them. Name is rather a social construction. When our parents named us they would not have meant what our name would define us when we are grown up. We give added meanings and interpretations to name. They would not have ever thought what we would have become and whether we truly correspond ourselves with our name in all the ways.

Human beings are beyond their names. Very essence of human being can’t be reduced to mere name; name is for conventional purpose. Name might be able to give us the identities of gender, religious, cultural, dialectic and geographical territory but not the unique identity of our character or behavior.

Therefore, always name does not Tell me my name, rather the identity in its deepest meaning. Name gives us imperfect identity not the identity.

(Photo courtesy to Google)

1 comment:

  1. A very nice write up. Well, yes, as u said, it is true that the name doesn't give us a proper identity, rather, an improper identity.