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So the baby’s name is Taimur Ali Khan and India’s Twitter can’t handle it!

A rose by any other name smells as sweet – or so Shakespeare claimed.

Not so amongst Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor fans in India, who yesterday expressed anger over the couple’s new baby boy’s name, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi.

A few rational voices such as Indian-administered Kashmir’s former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah balanced the equation somewhat by asking what right anyone has, to express outrage over the name of someone else’s child.

Such was the lack of respect displayed online that Twitter trolls were bold enough to wish the baby ill and thus brought about religious divisions to the forefront.


The less vitriolic of the many comments passed over the baby’s name, described the historical figure Tamerlane (as he is known in the West) as a nomadic invader, some denouncing him as a bloodthirsty warrior who conquered large parts of Persia, Mesopotamia and Azerbaijan amongst his many conquests.

The sore point for his many critics is that he invaded Delhi in 1398 and left destruction in his wake.

What many seem to have forgotten is the strong meaning of the name – reportedly, steel. Tamerlane was also a strategic general famed for his mathematical skills.

With media awash with pictures of the ‘royal’ nursery, complete with the Pataudi family crest, many think this name befits Saif Ali Khan’s royal lineage.

Although the online discourse backed those who think that national integration is still lacking in India, media were more positive in their reporting of the controversy.

The Indian Express denounced the cruel comments directed at the choice of name and Firstpost.com took an honest stand by saying the response to the name shows widespread Islamophobia.


Many of the more well-read Twitter users also pointed out that Ashoka the Great killed many but to this day, there are many Ashoks in India and beyond (Suffice to mention here that Kareena Kapoor herself acted in the film Asoka with Shah Rukh Khan playing the emperor).

For those further afield, English King Henry VIII beheaded a few of his wives but the current fifth in line to the throne is named Prince Henry.

Whilst Kareena Kapoor has looked ethereal in all her latest photo-shoots, the couple’s detractors will further please political parties who use religious sentiment to garner votes. For the near future though, for unwelcome reasons, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi will continue to be the cynosure of all eyes.

For the near future though, for unwelcoming reasons, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi will continue to be the cynosure of all eyes.

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