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We Trolled A Baby, For His Name That He Didn’t Pick

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Kareena Kapoor Baby name trends, but for all the wrong reasons: On Sunday, actor Kareena Kapoor Khan gave birth to her second child, a boy. While good wishes poured in from her fans and loved ones, and those of her actor husband Saif Ali Khan, naturally the Internet was buzzing with what will be the newborn baby’s name. And that’s when it all began to unravel, again, as the controversy surrounding the name of Kapoor-Khan’s elder son Taimur, was dragged back into trends and vile jokes were cracked about a child and his baby brother.

Yes, four years ago we trolled a baby for a name that he didn’t choose for himself. It will be one of the lowest points of conduct on social media leaderboard for us. Has much changed in four years though? Despite the kid’s parents having cleared the air around his name many times?

During an episode of Koffee With Karan, Saif Ali Khan spoke on the controversy and said, “Taimur is a beautiful name. It means iron. It is a Persian word. The amount of reaction was a little extreme when people said that the name is based on an emperor who is very cruel. And anyway, he is not. That was Timur, who was a Turkish, Mongolian emperor. And this is Taimur. Obviously, they have the same root but I have not named my son after the emperor. I liked the name and that’s it.”

The interpretations of Taimur’s name that was picked for him by his parents have never left his side. As if the four-year-old doesn’t have already enough on his plate, with paparazzi constantly hounding him. When he is old enough to be allowed access to the Internet, he’ll come across a mountain of social media content that targetted him, simply for being born into a popular film family and having a controversial name. What will he feel when he goes through all these hateful tweets? How can you console a child in a matter where he had no say, no power?

The cycle of online bullying hasn’t stopped. Not long after Khan gave birth to her second child on February 21, trolls began to crack jokes on what the baby will be named. A news channel even went on to ask on Twitter “Is baar kaun paida hua, Aurangzeb ya Tipu Sultan“. The tweet was deleted later.

The sheer lack of filter that social media displays sometimes is worrying. Nothing is off-limits. We talk about bullying, trolling and online abuse in lofty conversations, but all the derogatory commentary on a newborn’s name is hailed as a “memefest” and all we do is scroll past it if we do not enjoy it. They are celebrities they signed up for this. They should have thought twice before naming their child, we think. Cool, but where does the kid fit in this argument? What’s a four-year-old’s fault, in being given a name the troll brigade doesn’t approve of?

We have to keep in mind that hate holds the power to affect a person’s future too. Kids may be oblivious to the negativity that is being hurled their way today, but when they grow up, it would be impossible for their parents to block the vileness, both past and present from reaching their children. A meme hold the power to make us sneer indulgently for a second, but the person it is directed towards, what kind of implications do they bear?

Star kids or otherwise, children deserve empathy. They deserve a second of our time and a generous consideration on our part to think through the larger outcome of our momentary actions. But do we have that second to spare? Do we want to think before we retweet? Who will answer that question for us, but ourselves?

Picture Credit: The Indian Express

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We Trolled A Baby, For His Name That He Didn’t Pick
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