Wednesday, 17 February 2016

First name, middle name, surname... real name?

 "What's in a name" written by Kalpana Sharma (The Hindu, March 7, 2010) highlights the problems faced by women when their names change after marriage. Men too experience difficulties when they go abroad. She says in south India the issue of surnames does not arise as people use initials. The expansion of initials given in the passport in place of surnames poses problems outside India.

In the passport, there are only two parts to furnish the name of the passport holder. The “surname” appears first. The actual name comes next under “Given name”.

Different systems are followed in India in giving a name to a person. Confusions and complications arise when we are asked to fill in various official forms in our country – first name, middle name, last name, surname, given name are some examples. I was asked to furnish my “pet name” in one of our private banks.

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