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What’s In A Name?

Friday, December 23, 2016
By Deepa Gahlot

If social media has made stars more accessible to their ‘fans’ it has also left them vulnerable to abuse. This nastiness was on display when Saif and Kareena announced the name of their newborn son—Taimur.

History buffs would know that Taimur Lang or Timur, invaded the Delhi Sultanate in 1398 and routed the army of then ruler Nasir-ud-Din Shah Tuglaq and ransacked Delhi. The trolls on social media found an excuse to rant—which so many of them do in anonymity, because they can.  What a couple names their child is their business entirely; if it offends some random Twitter troll, it shouldn’t matter to the family.

However, just because a troll follows a celebrity on social media, he or she, thinks they have a right to comment on the private lives of those they follow and criticise them for everything from their choice of films, clothes, partners. The amount of age, size and slut-shaming that goes on is shocking—so much hate hidden away in minds that get an opportunity to express it, without any retaliation.  Not much, at any rate, because responding to trolls only seems to embolden them.

And it goes without saying that women put up far more abuse than do.  Madonna, making a speech at the Billboard Awards, did not speak about trolls, but she could well have, because she has been slammed in all kinds of media often enough. “"Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticised and vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio." She added in closing, “To the doubters and naysayers and everyone who gave me hell and said I could not, that I would not or I must not - your resistance made me stronger, made me push harder, made me the fighter that I am today. It made me the woman that I am today. So thank you."

So yes, little Taimur has to learn to fight back at a young age. His parents, and the family on both sides, will have to stand by their choice of name for the kid. It’s not as if kids named after deities and heroes have a special fate!

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