Why We Need To Talk About Anand S Ahuja Changing His Name
Instead of criticising Sonam Kapoor for changing her name after marriage, let’s appreciate the similar gesture from Anand S Ahuja. Within hours of her wedding, Kapoor changed her name on her social media handles to Sonam K Ahuja. Her decision didn’t go down well with many people, who thought that the actor had fallen prey to a patriarchal practice.
Kapoor not only questioned people’s perception of feminism but also pointed out at how most of them are unaware of her husband’s decision to change his name. In an interview with India Today, Kapoor revealed, “I have been engaged for a long time. It took me a long time to decide. It’s a choice, at the end of the day. And if people don’t understand the concept of feminism, they need to go online and look at the description. And how do you know Anand has not changed his name?”
Anand’s decision to add an “S” in his name is a sweet and brave gesture, and we are not talking enough about it.
People were so quick to find flaws in Sonam’s decision to add Ahuja to her name. Articles, posts and tweets flooded the internet in no time, debating whether what she did is right or wrong. The tradition of changing the last name after marriage is a matter of choice despite being a patriarchal practice. It is this power of being able to make that choice which feminism celebrates.
Also as feminists, we should not let Ahuja’s decision to change his name go uncelebrated. It takes a very confident and secure man to add his wife’s name to his. The idea of equality or feminism doesn’t come very easily to Indian men. Most members of our society still believe that men are superior to women. Hence all adjustments in a marriage should be made by women and not men. These adjustments begin with women changing their name after marriage. as the first step.
This is why Ahuja’s decision to change his name after marriage is so refreshing. It represents the mindset of a modern Indian man who knows that adjustment in a marriage need to be made by both the parties.
Anand has merged his identity with that of Sonam. It shows his willingness to accept whatever that is hers as his. He is not afraid to match steps with his wife when it comes to endorsing gender equality.
However, the fact that most people chose to not appreciate his gesture, but go on to criticise Sonam’s decision to change her name, is telling of the times that we live in. This selective outrage is a proof that most people on social media are only interested in bashing other’s choices if they don’t sit well with them. For such people, even feminism is an inflexible concept, to be used as per it suits their argument.
Whether to change your name or not should be a matter of choice for women. But we need more men like Anand S Ahuja, who will help to steer our society from it’s inherent patriarchy. Challenging these old dictates and putting a feminist twist on them is one way to do it. So while it is okay for Sonam to change her name after marriage, it is superb that Anand is setting an example for Indian men of how they can help restore the equality in our society.
Picture Credit: indianexpress.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.