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In most human cultures, the birth of a child is an unambiguously happy event. This moral framework does not, it seems, apply to some sections of social media, where for the most part of Tuesday, Tweeters bemoaned the birth of a new Bollywood baby.

Born to A-list film stars, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, the boy had been named Taimur – a highly objectionable christening for some, given the name’s association with a 14th century Turkic king and one the world’s most successful conquerors.

What was wrong with Taimur? Social media users were ostensibly objecting to the brutal nature of his conquests. Of particular concern was Taimur’s campaign against his fellow Turkics, the Tughlaq Sultanate of Delhi.

Conducted in 1398, the Timurid invasion eventually led to the sack of Delhi city where, by some accounts, the entire population of the city was massacred.

So deeply felt was this sack that 700 years later, Indians on Twitter would call the new-born baby a “terrorist”, a “jihadi” and in general wish harm upon it.

While it may be easy to dismiss this as the work of trolls, the frankness of social media provides us an important window to attitudes that might otherwise not be aired publicly.

With Hindutva in the ascendant, this incident shines a bright light upon how India’s medieval age is treated with a mixture of ignorance and paranoia by those who follow this ideology.

Hindutva pushes a narrative of ahistorical Muslim rule and then, is the first victim of its own misrepresentation. This distorted image of Muslim conquests projected by Hindutva creates a deep inferiority complex right at its centre. So much so that it was eventually expressed as tragi-comic social media rage against a day-old infant.

Heroes and villains

Historical narratives are tricky things to construct, especially when people want to superimpose moral lessons on them. Who is a hero and who isn’t is extremely subjective and even more so when one goes as far back in time as the 14th century.

The past truly is a different country and to make it fit modern standards of morality, a fair bit of invention needs to be indulged in.

Let’s take a force that is near-universally seen as the “good” guys in popular Indian history: the Marathas. The Marathas were successful towards the end of the Mughal period, building up a confederation over large parts of the subcontinent.

Of course, this was done through war and conquest and in the chaos of the Mughal twilight, contemporary accounts of the Marathas are often rather negative, cutting across what we would today see as “Hindu” and “Muslim” sources.

In the 18th century, the Marathas invaded Bengal killing, by one account, four lakh Bengalis. Repeated raids and conquests of neighbouring Gujarat were also, as almost everything in medieval India, a rather violent affair.

In another case, Maratha armies raided a thousand-year old Hindu temple to teach Mysore sultan Tipu Sultan – who was its patron – a lesson. The Brahmin Peshwa rulers of the Maratha state enforced untouchability so brutally that BR Ambedkar actually saw their defeat at the hands of the British to be a blessing.

Contemporary accounts of the Marathas in Bengal are obviously far from flattering. Similarly, as late as 1895, there were strong objections in Gujarat to the plans of Bal Gangadhar Tilak to institute a Shivaji festival across India, with the Deshi Mitra newspaper of Surat disparaging it as a “flare up of local [Marathi] patriotism”.

India’s medieval period did not have the sort of nationalisms and community mobilisation that modern India would see under the Raj. As newspapers and technology knit the peoples of India together, a Hindu consciousness would revise the image of the Marathas as “Hindu”.

Calcutta city’s intelligentsia at the time, in fact, celebrated a Shivaji festival and the city still has statues of Shivaji. Gujarat, where Hindutva has been a powerful political force for decades now, has adopted Shivaji with even more gusto, building statues in cities like Surat, which, ironically, were sacked by the Maratha chief early on in his career.

This confusion is nothing new. Today, Punjabi Muslims in Pakistan see themselves as inheritors of the Mughals but in 1857 signed up enthusiastically for the East India Company’s armies to defeat the Mughal-led revolt against the Raj.

That which we call a rose

Naturally, then, the name Shivaji or Bhaskar – a Bhaskar Pandit led the Maratha raids on Bengal – are hardly taboo in modern India given this modern narrative of the Marathas.

It is the same for other names as such Ashoka or Alexander, both of whom led bloody campaigns but are common names among the supposed peoples they conquered.

Sikandar, the Persian version of Alexander, is a common name across Iran and the subcontinent – a Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian’s son is, in fact, named after the Macedonian conqueror. Moreover, one would assume Ashoka carries no particular taboo in Orissa in spite of the Kalinga war.

In fact, this linking of a name to a supposed historical villain is a particularly egregious example of just how puerile Hindutva can be.

It is a bit silly to think that someone would be outrage over the fact that a baby is named Joseph just because of Stalin’s role in the Soviet Union or “Manu” would be taboo simply because he was supposed to have authored the castiest Manu Smriti, a book of law linked to India’s crippling 2,000 year old system of caste apartheid.

This near-comical understanding of history, though, is not a new thing for Hindutva. The ideology has built a curious understanding of India’s medieval period, which it sees primarily through the lens of supposed invasions by Muslim kings and emperors.

The founder of Hindutva, Vinayak Savarkar would, for example, even use this grievance to validate modern wrongs – in one case justifying the use of rape as a political tool. Prime Minister Modi, a lifelong member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has often claimed India has suffered from 1,200 years of slavery.

Inventing an inferiority complex

This rage is, of course, large ahistorical. Taimur, for example, finds little mention in historical works written by Hindus at the time or even hundreds of years after.

In fact, his negative image is taken solely from Muslim writers, given that his brutal invasions were led almost exclusively against Islamic empires such as the Ottomans and the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria.

Ironically, even in India, his invasion targeted what Hindutva would characterise as a Muslim and therefore “foreign” dynasty, the Tughlaqs.

However, the invention of this distorted history has has a rather deleterious effect on the Hindutva mind. Tales of a “thousand years of slavery”, as one could very well imagine, create a sort of mass inferiority complex.

Even in this case, for example, as important a driver of rage as the name “Taimur” was, almost as significant was the incipient anger at the fact that a Hindu woman, Kareena Kapoor, had married a Muslim man.

The shadow of so-called love jihad, which once was a Bharatiya Janata Party policy position itself, only ends up harming Hindu women, given that it assumes they themselves aren’t free to make their own choices, romantic or otherwise.

This mass self-flagellation, a near masochistic nurturing of grievance, produces a highly distorted modern politics, showing how far Hindutva is from assuming any mantle of intellectual leadership, in spite of capturing political power at the federal level in India.

An ideology that needs to pick on a little baby to prove its spurs has a long way to go before it can sit at the high table.

Final point. If this controversy forces some Hindutava ideologues to pick up a book and read the history of Taimur, we might be in for another storm.

Taimur’s heir and the next ruler of the Timurid dynasty was a man named, well, Shah Rukh.

This article was first published on Scroll and has been reproduced with permission.

Author Image

Shoaib Daniyal is a staff writer with

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (195) Closed

asad Dec 23, 2016 11:53am

Taimur as per their believe if he did wrong, then what you say about the current genocide in Gujrat, Kashmir, babri masjid, godhera etc by hindutwa.

Pak Dec 23, 2016 11:54am

India is such a least tolerant and ignorant country.

Az Dec 23, 2016 11:54am

Hindutva Fascism rears it's ugly head again

tomUHTO TAWMAYTO Dec 23, 2016 12:04pm

Thank good there's a HUGE number of people in India who are laughing at the likes of Tarek Fatah... give it a break guys, it's just a name!

(By the way, having said that and for those who don't know, Saif's mother Sharmila was born into the famous Tagore family of Calcutta; the new-born's great-great grandfather [or something like that] was the FIRST non-White to get the Nobel Prize for 1913. He was the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, whose English volume of poetry, Geetanjali, fetched the award. The English poet Yeats wrote the introduction to the slim volume. Sir Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein were very close friends of Rabndranath. Baby Taimur is born into a MUCH BIGGER legacy than that of the Pataudis).

Reza Dec 23, 2016 12:08pm

Good article, well done!

Asif A. Shah Dec 23, 2016 12:07pm

Well researched!

Sara Dec 23, 2016 12:09pm

Who cares what they have named their kid. He is going to grow up in Bollywood style.

Hauka khan Dec 23, 2016 12:13pm

This is the face of tolerant and secular India.. wow!

Sara Dec 23, 2016 12:10pm

It's only a name. The child will grow up as a Bollywood child.

Ash Dec 23, 2016 12:14pm

@asad Godhera was not by Hindus, please double check. Also, please just dont make plain statements, research from unbiased mindset, you might change your opinion about India, however, I am not denying wrong doings, but please don't club 30 years events in one line, also just check what happened few days back in west Bengal and how tolerant India dealt with it.

chandrashekhar bramhane Dec 23, 2016 12:12pm

Interesting and intellectual article

Khwarezmi Dec 23, 2016 12:16pm

Yes some people from Punjab supported the British after they defeated the Sikhs but 25.000 Muslims from Ferozepur (now in Indian Punjab) went to fight the British in Delhi in the 1857 War of Independence (ref. The Last Mughal). Also, there were uprising against the colonial power in several cities across Punjab in 1857.

As for Timur, while not a bad name, most of his fights were against Muslims states.

abdulrashid awan Dec 23, 2016 12:16pm

Its good name. Let we wish the child and parents good health, all happiness and prosperity in the life.

Khwarezmi Dec 23, 2016 12:20pm

Tarek Fateh and Hussain Haqqani are the two most anti-Pakistani people I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. I am not surprised Tarek Fateh, a mediocre writer at best, has taken such an extremist position on a baby's name.

@rana Dec 23, 2016 12:22pm

the few things which i have learned from this article. firstly the name of Saif's and Kareena's child, secondly the name of taimur's heir and thirdly that this hindutava is engulfing India rapidly.

Dr.Arshad Dec 23, 2016 12:24pm

"However, the invention of this distorted history has has a rather deleterious effect on the Hindutva mind. Tales of a “thousand years of slavery”, as one could very well imagine, create a sort of mass inferiority complex."

Be friendly with all, don't dwell too much on past and march on. Nothing is permanent in this world. The Empires of yester years have been reduced to the level of insignificant cronies of their once conquered and enslaved nations now.

KasH Dec 23, 2016 12:27pm

And yet they say Muslims are extremists...

Khurram Dec 23, 2016 12:35pm

sighs only in India. Level of lunatics re-defined. Wow!

Chandra Dec 23, 2016 12:52pm

Taimur will still be loved by his classmates and teachers in school. He will have friends in his neighbourhood who will not be judgemental. Let the kid grow with the kids around and adults please keep your mouth shut if you cannot bless an innocent child who does not care what his name is. He is not Taimur the invader, he is a proud citizen of India.

ramesh Dec 23, 2016 01:03pm

Its not question of hindutwa.

Somya Dec 23, 2016 01:06pm

I wish the Child and his parents well and congrats. Saif is from my School and City and highly respected like his family elders

A good read and researched article by the writer.

Nishant kashyap Dec 23, 2016 01:19pm

This is really stupid. This is no one's business to interfere or post stupid comment on Saif-Kareena's baby..It their choice what they want to call THEIR son. Rest everyone, Just stay out of it.

MMKhan Dec 23, 2016 01:23pm

Once more, India is Number One for all the wrong causes!

A Dec 23, 2016 01:33pm

In India we have prominent leader of south named Stalin ...we have Adolf too !! It is choice of the parents and those who are offering comments on Social Media are ones addicted to such meaningless activities ..! Saif and his family holds respectful position in India and especially in their princely state Pataudi !

Riz Dec 23, 2016 01:38pm

All warriors spilled blood of millions of people and millions of people are still named after them because history glorified them. If Ashok is acceptable then why not Taimur? This psuedo-intellectual Tarek Fateh is himself named after Tariq bin Ziyad the victorious, and he is criticising others. What a joke that man is!

Jayakumar Dec 23, 2016 01:43pm

Had it been someone like me,I could understand but such public figures should not create controversy of national level.

FMS2 Dec 23, 2016 01:47pm

@Khwarezmi They are Pro Indian at their best

Dr. Kent B Huzen Dec 23, 2016 01:53pm

Let them do their job, one day the bubble will burst. It is just the matter of time.

FMS2 Dec 23, 2016 01:51pm

@Jayakumar Its the indian media who have created conspiracy out of nothing.

Mir Dec 23, 2016 01:54pm

Power of social media... Newly born TAIMUR is new sweetheart of social media Anybody remembers Abhishek/Aishwariya child name???

sajid Dec 23, 2016 02:08pm

They are not going to change the name. Taimur Ali awsome name. GOD bless this child and save him from indian criticism...atrocity and intolerance.....

neutral Dec 23, 2016 02:08pm

The child should be spared all the agony. He is beautiful baby.

Erdogan Dec 23, 2016 02:09pm

I shared this article with all my Indian Muslim friends who rant on about great India is, where Muslims can't name their child what they want nor eat beef without threat of being lynched.

Pravin Dec 23, 2016 02:21pm

If you keep you child name as Ram or Raheem it doesn't mean that he will be like them. If a person is not good it doesn't mean that all the people of his name will not be good. The name Taimur means Iron and what is wrong meaning in that.

Riaz Dec 23, 2016 02:18pm

Comeon Tarek Fateh it is not Hindu or Muslim. And who is wrong and who is right. It is the game of self interest, set aside religions. Do not get emotional

Desi Dec 23, 2016 02:26pm

Very stupid by indian people to object on the name of the baby selected by the parents, but then it just reflect the mindset and intoleranse in indian society. Socalled worlds largest democracy.

Akram Dec 23, 2016 02:27pm

Inferiority complex. Nothing more.

zubeen Dec 23, 2016 02:36pm

problem is not in their mindset or attitude, it is all about knowledge, Since india got independence, they have never been taught history specially mughal history, on which their early economy took a up slide. if we talk about tourism in india, it still assemble world tourists Specially $ on the name Taj mahal , Qutub Minar , Himayun tomb etc, they are still earning huge amount from their moments but hate who built them. They love western people because they looted them, mughal left what ever they earn in Asia & got burried in here, which most of the people in india does'nt know. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

Ramesh Dec 23, 2016 02:36pm

Thanks Daniyal, your article is eye opener to Indian like me. I changed my view after going through it.

mysterious Dec 23, 2016 02:53pm

I've been following this guy named Tareek Fateh from quite some time. He utters a lot of rubbish about Pakistan and Muslims, including Indian Muslims. He's well sponsored and taken care of Indian Right Wing Group RSS and some fiction of BJP (Subramani Swamy group). Majority of the Indian Muslims hates this man as he always accused their religion and name them as Pakistanis and antiIndian. Yet, being a Pakistani I like this guy to be given a high profile in India. Also, I would love to see him given a huge amount of air time on different Indian channels and talk shows.

aa Dec 23, 2016 02:50pm

The parents should have named it Modi the conquer of Gujrat?

Akber Ehtesham Dec 23, 2016 02:53pm

On the face of Phantom Star.. !!!

Farhan Dec 23, 2016 02:59pm

@Nishant kashyap, absolutely right..

gogo Dec 23, 2016 03:14pm

Saif Ali khan lives in India. the least he could do is to show respect towards the Hindus by not naming his son after an invader. But he did not. Typical of Muslims who has no respect for the feelings of other people. But then they complain why there is no much ill feelings against Muslims.

Raaz Dec 23, 2016 03:14pm

I appeal to the writer to write an article about History books of Pakistan too

Budfox Dec 23, 2016 03:15pm

Nobody is judging the kid friends.

they (at least the sane ones) are judging the so-called sword of islam/ butcher of delhi Mr Taimur Lang

If one can afford to read a text book chapter on him then one cant miss how he slayed 100,000 civilians in delhi In a single day. Slaves, Pillage and rape come way down the list.

No doubt he will be role model for many people and countries but asking his victims to celebrate his name too is certainly bit too much to ask.

I'd validate shoaib daniyals and his supporters perspective 100% if they truly agree to welcome/promote the names like abu jahil, yajooj majooj et al for the kids in their community and family on regular basis.

Ps: Wt pataudis do is no ones business nor they are worth anybody's time. Good luck and good life to the kid.

gogo Dec 23, 2016 03:17pm

Will Durant, the famous historian summed it up like this:

"The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilisation is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."

Zaraq Khan Dec 23, 2016 03:21pm

Tolerant India at its best !

Muhammad Dec 23, 2016 03:42pm

Excellent article. I personally feel that we south Asians kind of have s habit of associating ourselves with the rulers in the basis of religion thus hero for one becomes villain for another .

Vinay Dec 23, 2016 03:56pm

Well researched.

JAGGA Dec 23, 2016 04:02pm

They can name their child as they please. However, it is interesting that Raj Kappor's great grandson is named Taimur. I'm totally clueless in history but name Pataudi bring back childhood memories of a great cricketer and Indian team captain.

CHANDRAJEET MANE Dec 23, 2016 04:13pm

unnecessary controversy. how dose it matter anyone what is his name.

Salil Dec 23, 2016 04:13pm

@Pak sure calling India ignorant is not going to hurt a country moving towards progress and success so keep it up instead of focusing on fixing your own country

Desi Dec 23, 2016 04:34pm

Who cares what the world says, as long as the parents like the name that's it. People have to be negative about one thing or the other. Leave the beautiful couple alone and let them have fun with the baby

Tony B Fernandes Dec 23, 2016 04:57pm

Well written this article is brilliant and the writer should receive accolades from both sides of this non issue - well researched

Zaf taimur Dec 23, 2016 05:22pm

Really great article. The extremist hindus will be unable to argue because it is so well researched.

Iftikhar Husain Dec 23, 2016 05:30pm

This is a extensive part of history of Middle Ages well written.

Raj Dec 23, 2016 05:30pm

Good name, best wishes.

kranti Dec 23, 2016 05:37pm

@Akram Yours is superiority complex, nothing more...Why put names of people to whom we are not connected and know them...

Pak Dec 23, 2016 05:42pm

Thousand year of occupation by outsiders, sad Indian history, so let's blame it on the names.

sATT Dec 23, 2016 06:07pm

The guy wanted a strong name for his child.So he found it Taimur which means "Iron" which is Mongolian term for Iron.If he wanted to name his son "Iron" their is a good name in Sanskrit which is "Luv" which can be written as "Love".On the same name the city of Pakistan "Lahore" is based.Luv sounds strong as well as lovely.

AHA Dec 23, 2016 06:14pm

Kaif would have been a nice name

Ahmed Dec 23, 2016 06:15pm

@Pak That history of occupation applies to Pakistan too. Just being a Muslim doesn't mean that the land was occupied.

JAMIL SOOMRO, NEW YORK CITY Dec 23, 2016 06:20pm

A well researched article on the great King Taimur with historical reference on Hindus and Muslims.King Taimur's name is still shining in history even after such a long time. The new baby Taimur is also going to make history for himself when he grows up.

Ahmed Dec 23, 2016 06:22pm

Just keep in mind, this couple is public figure in India. Their actions will draw public reaction. Taimur is usually associated with cruel invader. They could have picked more neutral name. At the end, it is their choice. Just naming their son Taimur doesn't make him cruel. He may grow up to be a perfect gentleman.

Saturn Dec 23, 2016 06:27pm

Glad a few internet trolls were enough to paint all Hindus with the same brush. Its not like being objective counts for anything does it?

Saturn Dec 23, 2016 06:27pm

Glad a few internet trolls were enough to paint all Hindus with the same brush. Its not like being objective counts for anything does it?

Krishna Dec 23, 2016 07:35pm

@@rana Hindutva is a very good thing.

kaliraja thangamani Dec 23, 2016 07:42pm

Great writing, nicely written. Thanks.

Krishna Dec 23, 2016 07:40pm

@sajid They have to change the name

Unshackle Pakistan Dec 23, 2016 07:42pm

There hasn't bee none Taimur in history. Let the kid have a life. Lets not judge a kid for the deeds of someone else.

noon Dec 23, 2016 07:48pm

@gogo Have you even read the article ?

Kalidas Dec 23, 2016 08:14pm

@Krishna why?

Mohammed Dec 23, 2016 08:45pm

Tarek Fatah has also claimed that kareena kapoor is either illiterate or arrogant. This is an individual who has also called urdu an imperial langauge and has alligned himself with the narrative of the reacationary Hindu right in India

His frequent pandering to this narrative and simplistic arguements in relation to Pakistan has made him a darling of Hindu nationalists, while he masquerades as a progressive. We are indeed living in a post truth society.

Arunb Dec 23, 2016 09:17pm

You can not tie filter on the mouth of the whole social media. When you are on Social Media, learn to curb criticism or delete your account, as simple as that!!

Rentop Dec 23, 2016 09:23pm

To each their own! What is in a name? A lot at stake obviously for keyboard warriors! There is no good war and no good warrior. In this case we are talking medieval times and medieval warriors. Has there ever been a benevolent warrior in the mankind's history? I think not. Let Saif and Kareena name their child Timur ,abc or 123. It’s their child their choice. Give it a rest sheesh!

Azad101 Dec 23, 2016 09:25pm

Excellent write-up.

Yash Dec 23, 2016 09:37pm

@neutral -- very interesting facts but unfortunately on the name of wrong argument. When r we saying in india that it's a wrong name because of religion? Why this Hindu Muslim debate started much tolerant r we, for that u have to come here and see how our Muslim fellow citizen feel in India (minus hardliners from all faiths). We don't need outsider's certificate.

Taimur was a butcher of Delhi, he killed Hindu and Muslim alike. And he ran away with looted wealth. Hence we don't like the Name. His son Shah Rukh did not do any harm to us and his descendant was Akbar, so we celebrate their names. Period.

Rathore Dec 23, 2016 09:54pm

If you love Taimur then why hate Modi...

Aftab Dec 23, 2016 10:23pm

Just Like "Mr. Gandhi' is not an acceptable leader in Pakistan and we named our missiles as Babar, Gazni, Abdali. Timur was a Turk and they plundered our subcontinent.

Donald Dec 23, 2016 10:33pm

How many sane people would name their child Hitler, Ravan, Idi Amin, etc? Names have connotations.

Agha Ata Dec 23, 2016 10:34pm

Taimour was a king, and a cruel king. It had nothing to dow with Islam. Let's face the fact.

sami Dec 23, 2016 11:06pm

A country of intolerent and conservative people. This is the height of non sense!

T.M. Reddy Dec 23, 2016 11:35pm

Who knows this Taimur may reconstruct the better image of what was done before? Things are changing drastically. Trump is elected on the image of profiling Muslims, wants to put Muslim registry and so on. Things are likely to realigned and reimaged.

Sunil Dec 23, 2016 11:43pm

Saif Ali Khan has a right to name his son whatever he likes; similarly, Indians have every right to criticize anyone who names his/her son after a mass murderer.

Deaths and killings have always been part of every war but killings of innocent civilians and burning of cities was/is the gift of Muslim invaders!

Mahabharata and every other legend in Indian (Hindu) history has set rules even for war: No non-combatant was ever hurt in Indian wars. Even great Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien, who traveled India (c. 340s) has attested to that.

As far as personal choice is concerned, let's see how many muslims in USA will dare to name their sons as Osama Bin Laden! Or how many jews name their sons as Hitler!

Ssfaps Dec 23, 2016 11:51pm

How many of you would name your child Hitler?

sanyal Dec 23, 2016 11:54pm

Where, by the way, is the "Hindutwa" angle in this discourse? Shoaib Daniel is confused. Guess Taimur was indiscriminate in killing both Hindus and Muslims. Who cares what the parents named him. It is their privilege.

Thoughtful Dec 24, 2016 12:29am

And to let this history-ignorant woman Neelakshi Goswami know that Chengiz Khan was not a Muslim. Many Hindu historians intentionally portrait Chengiz Khan as a Muslim and ignorant Hindu masses believe in this fabricated history.

KPK Dec 24, 2016 12:42am

I am a pakhtun and we have fought against Sikandar and Changis khan but we have no problem naming our kids after them. We are proud of our history.

Worthless Wealth. Dec 24, 2016 12:46am

A very useful piece of historical back ground of Hindu, Hinduism or Hindutva and Marathas as Hindus for all the Muslims and of course the present generation of Hindus in India.

However, though Indians (as Hindus) are a well read Nation and are fully aware of the Historical facts of India, and yet they would not like to read such historical facts; except that, Hindus, including Marathas are superior to Muslims!

So, let them see India from their view point for it is rightly said that, "Truth Shall Prevail"!

KJ Dec 24, 2016 12:46am

@asad : With all due respect Asad, the present day Pakistan suffered the most under the external invaders, including Timur, so why would you guys defend him, when he has the distinction of massacring so many of your ancestors? Why would anyone defend such a cruel person?

Sayyad Dec 24, 2016 12:50am

@zubeen Do you even know how much they earning vs how much they are spending to maintain those monuments. They are doing just to keep it for future generation otherwise its not a profitable, search if you dont believe.

Aftab Dec 24, 2016 01:32am

Saif should have knew that the Delhi's Auranzeb road name changed to APJ Abdul Kalam road.

Ahmad Dec 24, 2016 03:18am

@shoaib.. pls check Taimur's own accounts of History... how he captured and destroyed Baghdad.... How he captured and destroyed then called Persia.. we don't need any Hindu or Phindu or anyone to tell us this... today's Pakistan and Afghanistan was massacred- especially men, women and kids enslaved even before it happened in Delhi. In Persia and Baghdad he arranged heads in groups of 1500. We are the victims of his conquest and genocide.... Delhi atleast partially recovered ... Baghdad, Persia and even for that matter our Lahore and other places never did... Look at the history books of Uzbekistan where he is from. I met a teacher from Samarkand they were told he is was a mass murder why are we so obsessed to prove anything right just because the name sounds Muslim...

Rah Dec 24, 2016 04:01am

No Indian whether he is muslim or hindu forgive this mass murderer who killed millions of innocent lives. He was killer and we will never allow to have its name in our presence and future.

Khwarezmi Dec 24, 2016 04:18am

@Sunil I was just reading about the Chola Empire and how they brutally conqured South East Asian territory and civilians put to sword. Coming back to modern times, millions of Muslims were killed in the East-Punjab genovide (just check out the population data of East Punjab from 1942 and then look at how many Muslims managed to escape to Pakistan. Under half). Ober 300.000 Muslims were ethnically cleansed in Jammu and then 100.000 Muslims killed right down to our age.

So I would be very careful comenting about Indian not hurting civilians.

Monto Dec 24, 2016 04:50am

i wish i can have my baby name "Socrates" Or "Hitler"

India #The Most ignorant Country on this Planet

kuku Dec 24, 2016 04:52am

@gogo I don't think Taimur differentiated between Muslims and non-Muslims, there are just conquerors and conquered, and the conquered are always a fair game.

kuku Dec 24, 2016 04:55am

@gogo People need to be informed about Durant and others research into atrocities of invaders, they just came to loot, pillage and rape.

kuku Dec 24, 2016 04:57am

@Khwarezmi Incidentally they also speak truth.

kuku Dec 24, 2016 05:01am

@zubeen The Monguls, Turks and other invader did not come to India to help the economy, they came to loot, but find it too good to go back. The point is they came to India because of the economy at that time compared to other part of world.

kuku Dec 24, 2016 04:59am

@sATT How about Hitler?

gary ira Dec 24, 2016 05:59am

sensible article and i salute the writer

if you cannot allign yourself to a name, it is meanigless

there are lots of names like ram adn krishna who have doe immoral acts, betrying the lords ame and vica versa

let us grow up and not judge the Book"By its cover"


Alba Dec 24, 2016 06:54am

Most of the wars of this world were either European or came out of Central Asia over centuries.

Nasir Dec 24, 2016 07:23am

I am in India and I see majority of Hindus (almost 70-80%) have deep hatredness towards Muslims including the educated and professionals. RSS and its hindutva ideology will have dangerous consequences for a pluristic society of India. They are sowing the seed for another dreadful partition of the country on communal lines.

tanvir Dec 24, 2016 08:19am

@Pak I am a patriotic Pakistani and not a fan of India. However, I dont agree with this allegation that India is least tolerant and Ignorant. may be it can apply to Pakisstan, honestly speaking.Off course there are several mentalties in India who may be so but not the entire nation of India.

Krishna Dec 24, 2016 08:46am

We want to preserve our Vedic culture

R S Chakravarti Dec 24, 2016 08:47am

A good article. I have certainly learnt from it. But one thing the author and most of those who commented missed: a few may have come close to it. The boy will grow up in India. Why burden him with a name that will expose him to prejudice?

I am aware that a few decades ago, Assam had a CM named Anwara Taimur (she is 80 now). I don't know whether her name gave her any trouble. But there were no social media then!

Ppp Dec 24, 2016 08:58am

Oh come on what is in a name if someone name is billgate and sleep on the footpath so what. A person only recognize by his act not what name he has.

p.Nag Dec 24, 2016 09:00am

The age difference between Bhaskar Pandit and Shivaji is about two hundred years or more. The Marhatta invasion in Bengal was not a military invasion, that took place during early english rule. But it was a symbolic raid in english bastion then located in Bengal. They were mostly looters. Lated day many of them settled back in Bengal, including Bhaskar Pandit, who became a Sanyasi.

sp Dec 24, 2016 09:10am

This year a girl named Tina Dabi, all India topper of top bureaucratic exam engaged with secondar topper Athar Amir of Kashmir.

Trollslayer Dec 24, 2016 09:25am

Persians don't name their sons after Alexander. The most common names in Iran are Cyrus or Kourosh, Darius or Dariush and many other original Persian names. Most Persians name their children after characters from Shahnameh, the Persian epic written by Firdowsi.

As far as people from the subcontinent are concerned, they are so enamored with their former colonizers, and continue to give their children English nicknames, such as Vicky, Ricky, Jacky, Rocky, Sunny, Bobby, Johnny and the likes, regardless of their religions.

Both Hindu and Muslim Anglophones are the trolls that perpetuate hatred towards each other, while admiring White Europeans.

IndoPak is afflicted with self loathing, which has the former glorifying mythical characters and the latter eulogizing invaders, just so each can be validated, while sharing a common heritage, culture and language. The White man has played a cruel joke on the brown man, they laugh all the way to the bank.

malik nitesh Dec 24, 2016 09:43am

then we can also name Hitler to our sons . any problem

Zafar Dec 24, 2016 10:27am

I have always believed that Hindus have developed a psycholigical complex when it comes to their relationships with Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent because of the long muslim rule spanning over 600 hundred years. Pandit Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, said on independece day that India was free after 800 years: he had included muslim period as well. Hindus get along well with other muslims, but not of the subcontinent. India was never united country until the British invasion. So the anger over vivisection of mother India, as Mahatma Gandhi had said, is a misplaced notion. I have noticed that muslims of the subcontinent are quite tolerant about hindus. Unfortunately, hindus are not reciprocating. They should overcome their prejudices. If hindus can be friends of muslims from the Arab world, Africa, and countries like Iran, Malaysia and Indonesia, why not from their own subcontinent?

Jawwad Dec 24, 2016 10:38am

India is really shining now.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:01am


'No non-combatant was ever hurt in Indian wars.'

They just hit a school bus at LOC.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:00am


'How many of you would name your child Hitler?'

We would not name our children Churchill or Merkle either, the point is if anyone decides to do that we would not persecute them either.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:01am


Did he kill more people than Ashoka?

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:04am

Taimur didn't do anything worse than what the Aryans did to Dravidians. They also imposed their religion on them but their caste system still did not treat them as equals.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:09am

@malik nitesh;

'then we can also name Hitler to our sons . any problem'

Go right ahead, not my problem. This world has created leaders a lot worse than Hitler and several of them are still around.

Raj KUMAR Dec 24, 2016 11:09am

@zubeen,some knowledge needed for you as well,read the history of India before Mughals,it was a economic powerhouse,reason why so many invasions happened,as far as naming is concerned,they are the parents,so they decide,none of anybodys business.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:11am


'present day Pakistan suffered the most under the external invaders, including Timur, so why would you guys defend him'

For the same reason you like Ashoka, history belongs to the victors.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:13am


' would name their child Hitler, Ravan, Idi Amin, etc? Names have connotations.'

However those connotations are different for different societies, I would take Idi Amin any day over several of our current politicians.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:19am


'before Mughals,it was a economic powerhouse'

When this 'economic powerhouse' also represented a fifth of mankind, why couldn't they stop a ragtag band of swordsmen from Central Asia?

Anusri Tripathi Dec 24, 2016 11:20am

If pakistanis can promote islam, Indian has the right to promote hinduism - as hindus are majority here. Whats wrong in it?

konnks666 Dec 24, 2016 11:21am

@Budfox Bingo!

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:26am

'before Mughals,it was a economic powerhouse'

Why isn't there any material evidence of this powerhouse? Any buildings, clothings, textiles, cuisine, jewelry? I am not saying they didn't have any but certainly nothing like what the Mughal Tahzeeb developed in a short span of 300 years.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:29am

@Anusri Tripathi;

'Indian has the right to promote hinduism - as hindus are majority here. Whats wrong in it?'

Nothing wrong and you are already doing it, what is the complain all about?

Abbas Syed Dec 24, 2016 11:43am

Objecting to name Taimur, new born of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, is a base attempt to cozy up with the Hindu fundamentalist of BJP.

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 11:40am


'How about Hitler?'

This world has hundreds of living Hitlers, let us stop worrying about one dead one.

Ali Dec 24, 2016 11:54am

Poor child will regret when he will listen these stories.

bharat singh Dec 24, 2016 11:57am

@KasH Muslims are peaceful!!

R S Chakravarti Dec 24, 2016 12:15pm

@Dr.Arshad Great advice to all. I really appreciate it.

MK Dec 24, 2016 12:16pm

It is not only Hindus, but even some Muslim historians have been critical about the name. What do you have to say about that?

Mustafa R. Dec 24, 2016 12:25pm

'even some Muslim historians have been critical about the name. What do you have to say about that?'

Not much needs to be said, they have a right to their opinion.

liaquat khan Dec 24, 2016 12:31pm

With Just a Name TAIMUR this boy has become talk of the town.

Boudh Dec 24, 2016 12:36pm

@Mir Everybody knows Aradhya Bachchan's name.

Vijay Dec 24, 2016 12:42pm

From Wikipedia :

Timur capitalized on the subsequent disruption in the forces of Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq, securing an easy victory. Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq fled with remnants of his forces. Delhi was sacked and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed 100,000 captives.

Sara Dec 24, 2016 12:48pm

Come on people - it's only a name. The kid is half Hindu and half muslim. The kid is going to be raised as Bollywood. So leave them alone to raise their kid.

Fatima PIRZADA Dec 24, 2016 01:10pm

This paints a true picture of the intolerant and extremely disrespectful India. The name given to a child is a matter only the parents can decide and no one should have a say on it, especially not such pathetic comments.

Our heartiest congratulations to Kareena and Saif from Pakistan on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy!

Michael Cousins Dec 24, 2016 01:22pm

Then they claim there is no 2 nation theory. Here is the prove.

Pakistan zindabad

Lal Dec 24, 2016 02:02pm

I pity those who give too much of importance to the film stars and their kids. Please be concerned about one's own kids. Taimur is in no way superior to your kids.

Sachin Dec 24, 2016 02:38pm

They may name whatever they want.. even Hitler is a good name... i have no problems and it should be nobody's problems.

Jehangir Dec 24, 2016 02:44pm

In India there is opposition to this crap. You guys have made this a state policy.

Ajay Dec 24, 2016 03:19pm

I am a secular Indian. I was born a Hindu, but do not believe in any religion. People have a right to name their kid what ever they want, and I wish the little baby all the best in life.

sutapa Dec 24, 2016 03:25pm

"...Calcutta city’s intelligentsia at the time, in fact, celebrated a Shivaji festival and the city still has statues of Shivaji..."

As for Shivaji, I'd say, being a bengali and calcuttan, most of us don't consider Shivaji a hero here rather they are horrified recalling the torture meted out upon bengal and bengalis by him and his infamous 'borgee' force.Any way, hats off to the author for his arduous research job.

AW Dec 24, 2016 04:08pm

It is unbelievable that in modern India, the things of the past are being so seriously associated with the name given to a child. History recognizes the barbaric nature of the invaders who ruled India brutally including the one known as "Taimur" but the fact is that this name does not belong exclusively to the controversial ruler/invader , so what is the big fuss??

Arsalan Dec 24, 2016 05:02pm

Omg. India is so backward. They are even intolerant about a baby.

Hannan Dec 24, 2016 05:39pm

@Michael Cousins, agreed.100%

asad Dec 24, 2016 05:47pm

@KJ Hindutva history recall Taimur as invader, Indian muslims and worldwide respects him, muslim recall gujrat as act of genocide, hindus recall it as there right to persecute and the same being repeated in kashmir by hindutva. Lets not dig in history because if you do this you will find your hands are fully stained in blood

AV Houston Dec 24, 2016 06:08pm

@gogo Please read your post quitely again , and if you have an ounce of dignity you will retrieve your words.

asad Dec 24, 2016 06:24pm

@gogo you are blaming acts in history when muslims were made to defend, what your views about muslims massacred in Iraq on pretext of weapon of mass destruction, what you think about carpet bombardment in afghanistan (were these bomb smart enough to differentiate between innocent child or culprit), millions burnt to ashes by dropping atomic bomb in Japan, what crusader did? what happened in bosnia? why hospitals and kids bombarded in syria. in all those event you will find a single hand. Lets not dig in history because you will find your hands stained in blood.

Nelaraju Dec 24, 2016 06:27pm

@Sara - unfortunately yes.

Rkhan Dec 24, 2016 06:30pm

Taimur means 'iron'. Don't people in india name their childen 'Loha Singh'......?

Masood Hussain Dec 24, 2016 06:36pm

Enlightened,a scholarly piece

Jay Dec 24, 2016 06:46pm

It is all because people don't bother to pick up a book and confirm the news through proper channel, they instead believe anything they hear from family and friends ( lazy approach). Indians are very closed minded people and are willing resort to violence before thinking.

ajay ladkani Dec 24, 2016 06:53pm

Where does Hindutwa come in picture here? Would anyone like his son to be named as Hitler, Mussolini? Saif Ali Khan could have easily chosen some good islamic name to avoid controversy.

Adil Jadoon Dec 24, 2016 08:15pm

What a person says or tweets indicates nothing about the one being addressed but everything about the one making their nature obvious.

Har Puri Dec 24, 2016 08:25pm

Excellent article.

R S Chakravarti Dec 24, 2016 08:53pm

@tanvir It is good that you are both patriotic and realistic. May your tribe grow.

Asif Noorani Dec 24, 2016 10:40pm

@Chandra Very sensible opinion. One hopes and prays that the child will grow up in a world free from religosity.

Ismail Khatri Dec 24, 2016 10:54pm

Keep hope alive for our new religion in progress called American Civilization of Humanity, Honesty with Politeness. Ameen!

jay Dec 24, 2016 11:37pm

@Khwarezmi Truth hurts

Annie Dec 24, 2016 11:40pm

@Ahmed Sometimes, names portend what the individual will be like!

Talha Dec 25, 2016 12:59am

@Ssfaps Don't know about Hitler but no one would want to name a kid Modi.

Faizan Muhammad Dec 25, 2016 01:28am

One of the best articles on history I have read in recent times. Absolutely well said by the writer! There is a need to look at history through multiple lenses and not just one. People who take extreme positions on history without taking note of different historical indicators of the time, often develope shallow and narrow minded understanding of the history. Being an enthusiast of history studies, I really enjoyed this piece. Faizan

Khwarezmi Dec 25, 2016 05:36am

Quaid-e-Azam once said our heroes are their villains and their villains our our heroes. While I do not think Timir was a hero, far from it, this just show how different our two civilizations are.

LAHORI KID Dec 25, 2016 05:49am

I am shocked at how some people have reacted to a name? seriously people, least you could do is be thankful for the childs healthy birth. As for the name, if you don't like it, that's too bad, get over it. The parents must have a good reason to name their son Taimur, that's good enough for me. Congrats Saif and Kareena.

Tanvir Dec 25, 2016 06:42am

There is no shame in a name. It just a name. What matters I show the child has brought up and what he does after he grows up.

Sunny Sydney Dec 25, 2016 06:59am

@Mysterious you don't Tariq because he shows you mirror and truth.

Akil Akhtar Dec 25, 2016 07:32am

Saw movie Moen jo Daro in which the river flowing through the city was named Ganga. If my geography is correct Moen Jo Daro is in Pakistan at least a thousand miles from ganga.

peter Dec 25, 2016 12:01pm

A mother and father should be free to name their kid whaterver they want-after all its their child. we dont have any right to poke nose in their private affairs.

Amit Dec 25, 2016 12:12pm

Excellent analysis. For once, a writer has actually managed to change my position on an issue. Very nice work indeed.

Jha Dec 25, 2016 02:11pm

Most of people in India don't want to named their kid RAVAN , Kansh or Sakuni from epic. It is our culture. We even don't want to keep the name of such evil in our houses. If you want to show that you are from different believe go ahead . You are not new this is trend now. In the passion to do new people forget what they are??. I have sympathy.

KA Dec 25, 2016 02:38pm

Few hundred years back the entire Indian subcontinent including present day Pakistan was Hinduism and Buddhism. The invansions from Arab world changed the scenario. So naturally some names are controversial.

Chidambra Dec 25, 2016 02:42pm

Taimur killed 1,00,000 Hindus. That's the TRUTH. And we will protest against this name.

Love Your Country Dec 25, 2016 04:55pm

@Mustafa R. - tolerate others and promote peacefully to have a better world for all.

Asif Dec 25, 2016 05:54pm

@tomUHTO TAWMAYTO Yeats also corrected and almost re-write Geetanjali from Tagore's own translation of his work.

BNJ Dec 25, 2016 06:24pm

@Khwarezmi Sir both of us belong to the same civilization,we just have two different religion. That's it!

BNJ Dec 25, 2016 06:27pm

@Talha Modi is a surname.People generally don't shun their surnames. His first name is Narendra. People will continue to keep naming their child Narendra as it was also the first name of Swami Vivekanand.

biju.J Dec 25, 2016 09:03pm

I am sure not all muslims in India and Pakistan came from middle east.How about the rest. How many of their fore fathers were hindus.How many got slayed by Arab invaders. How many got converted under the threat of swords.How many of their relatives got raped by invading soldiers. How can obe be so proud of those invaders and treat them like Heros.

Vijay Shah Dec 25, 2016 09:23pm

@tomUHTO TAWMAYTO All you have written is correct! But why give the child a controversial name?

NASR Dec 25, 2016 09:46pm

"Taimur’s heir and the next ruler of the Timurid dynasty was a man named, well, Shah Rukh" Indian so naïve of their history I didn't knew.

Suma Dec 26, 2016 12:03am

Appreciation of Name Taimur depicts.....cultural shallowness of India and Pakistan and Muslim in general

mehek fualadi Dec 26, 2016 12:34am

@A there is NO princely state of Pataudi .... only pataudi was famous due to he bing a cricketer ... saif we loved for his acting ....

Riazullah Baig Dec 26, 2016 12:48am

@Aftab what did ghaznvi and abdali do to India? don't you really kno?

Rob Dec 26, 2016 01:40am

@peter Absolutely. In fact SOB would be most appropriate.

Prashant Dec 26, 2016 02:31am

Well if you love in Israel and name your son .. Hitler . It wold definitely be strange .

Bikram Singh Dec 26, 2016 07:25am

@Ahmad :: Very nice post.

Tawheed Dec 26, 2016 09:12am

Enjoyed the article and the particular conclusion. Thank you. (y)

VPR Dec 26, 2016 10:17am

@Ahmad Voice of sanity.

Humans Dec 26, 2016 10:33am

@Sachin Well said. we live in a free democracy....but that also gives the same rights to people to protest, so let them do that too. free will is powerful, brings debate, but at the end no one should be able to force their opinion on others, that is when fundamentalism takes over.

Human first Dec 26, 2016 11:13am

@biju.J Points to be noted. Most of the fellows are just ignoring these facts for life time.But thats the truth.

KS Dec 26, 2016 11:28am

@sutapa : Bengal was never invaded during Shivaji's time; the invaders were the later Marathas.

PR MAN Dec 26, 2016 06:42pm

Above all, India as a nation suffers an acute complex of being an inferior race. PM Modi and his followers wish to overcome that complex, hence he causes to incite instances, such as murders of unarmed and innocent Muslims in his state of Gujrat to embolden his people of the inferior race. Well, on the other hand, India is advancing in the technological world and might find itself occupying a respectable place in the international community. In the case of Muslims in general, in India or elsewhere, they may remain backward in the science and technology but they cannot be dominated by Hindu race, no matter what. The struggle might continue for some time to come with dire consequences for the both sides.