Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Lack of surnames, less casteism among Indian Muslims in South India compared to North

The difference is so striking--so few surnames when I see any list of students in schools in Deccan.

Going through any school's annual magazine or list of toppers published in Urdu dailies, the thing that is easily noticeable is that there are hardly any surnames.

Most names--the first and second part, are names and you can't infer any caste or biradiri linkage.

This is so unlike North India, where 80-90% people have surnames.For example, in Deccan, students' names in schools are like below:

Khadija Begam, Hajra Bano, Habibun Nisa, Md Iftekhar, Yaqoob Ali, Saeed Ahmad. Now compare with North India schools.

Siddiqui, Khan, Quraishi, Sheikh, Ansari, Salmani, in more than 80% names in UP, MP, Delhi. The excessive focus on surnames and hence caste-link and caste perception.

Much difficult to find 'caste' or 'clan'. Hence, less caste feeling in the four southern states compared to North where majority of marriages are on caste lines, biradiris.

With surnames, comes the immediate perception. People form image, place the person in hierarchy, status in society. Happens less in schools, more as you grow up.

However, the names in schools-institutions suggest that in South Indian society, surnames are given hardly any importance. They are not too much part of identity or caste pride. Time for Northies to learn this too, from South. Isn't it!