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Criminals & Great Names
by Rajesh Talwar Bookmark and Share
The Hari Putar Dialogues - 9
(The Statesman. New Delhi, June 11th
A rape convict who shares his name with the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru today left the Supreme Court frowning. The Supreme Court observed that such culprits had no right to share names with exalted national leaders.
 
'You have committed a rape and share the name with Jawaharlal Nehru? It is a disgrace for the national ethos,' a vacation Bench of Justices Mr Arijit Pasayat and Mr P P Naolekar observed. The Supreme Court which reserved its judgment on the alleged rapist Nehru alias Jawahar, remarked that it was high time that something was done to change the names of criminals who have their names after national icons.")
 
Putar:  According to a story carried in The Statesman today a convict who shares his name with the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru caused the Supreme Court to frown in annoyance.
 
Hari: That's right, putar. 
 
Putar: The Court remarked that it was high time that something was done to change the names of criminals who have their names after national icons
 
Hari: That is correct, putar.
 
Putar: Yet, the parents of this convict must have had high hopes from him to give him such a name upon his birth.
 
Hari: Don't all parents have high hopes from their children, putar?
Putar: Giving someone a certain name does not mean that that person will have the same attributes, Papaji?
 
Hari: That would appear to be certainly true in this case.
 
Putar: Shakespeare wrote: 'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.' In other words our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru would have been a great man, even had he had some other name.
 
Hari: I see the logic in what you say, putar. 
 
Putar: Would any parent give his or her child a bad name?
 
Hari: Impossible.
 
Putar: It is easy to understand the Supreme Court's sense of outrage.
 
Hari: That's true, putar.
 
Putar: This shows that giving someone a certain name cannot guarantee good behavior.
 
Hari: That's true, putar.
 
Putar: Shakespeare was right. Otherwise it would be so easy to stop crime.
 
Hari: That wouldn't be a remedy, putar.
 
Putar: Tell me something Papaji?
 
Hari: Bol, putar?
 
Putar: In India, amongst Hindus people are named after Gods, such as Ram and Krishna.
 
Hari: That's true, of course, putar.
 
Putar: And among Christians people name their daughters after Mary, Mother of Jesus. 
 
Hari: That's true, putar.
 
Putar: Amongst Muslims too, Mohammad is a common name.
 
Hari: That's also true, putar.
 
Putar: The Supreme Court recommended changing the convict's name from Jawaharlal Nehru.
 
Hari: Yes, they did.
 
Putar: Not very practical, is it?
 
Hari: Why do you say that, putar?
 
Putar: There would be just too many criminals who have been given the names of great people, prophets and Gods by their parents. Where will it end? 
 
Hari: It's true that it will be a huge task to change all those names.
 
Putar: They will also have to make sure that the name is not changed to some other great man's name, or to any holy name.
 
Hari: They could take care that that was not done, putar.
 
Putar: And who will give the new names? And where is the pool of bad or neutral names from which the new name will be chosen? And will a criminal be allowed to go back to his original name, if he is reformed or subsequently acquitted?
 
Hari: I don't know, putar.    
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15-Jun-2008
More by :  Rajesh Talwar
 
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