Everyone knows that Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan named their son after a barbaric conqueror of medieval world – Taimur (also known as Taimur Lung or Timur the lame).
The name of the baby, born in December last year, was criticised on social media by both ordinary users and some prominent names. Obviously, Saif and Kareena had the support of the celebrities and ‘liberals’ of the society.
Many specifically pointed out that they were only criticising Saif’s act of naming his child after the barbarian and not the baby.
The Turko-Mongol barbarian had wiped out 5 per cent of the world’s population in his conquests across Central Asia and India.
In 1398, Taimur invaded India. Delhi was then under the rule of Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq Dynasty. After defeating Tughlaq, Taimur massacred over 100000 citizens of Delhi, both Hindus and Muslims. Typical of any Mongol invasion, the heads of the men, women and children were cut and placed on pikes.
Taimur’s invasion remains to this day the most brutal one in India’s history.
Yet Saif defended his decision of naming the child after the barbarian. Previously in an interview, he had said that the name was merely a Persian one and not that of the barbarian.
(No one criticised his lack of knowledge because ‘Taimur’ is a purely Uzbekistani name of Mongol roots. Taimur’s father was Taraqai, a Mongol.)
Now, in a conversation with NDTV, Saif was asked to comment on the same topic again.
This time Saif Ali Khan not only defended his decision of naming his son but also the Taimur India hates. And in doing so he unabashedly compared Taimur to Ashoka the Great.
Correcting his previous mistake he accepts that Taimur is a “Turkish-Mongol” name. But then the manner in which he defends the barbaric Taimur only to justify his naming his son after the conqueror is shameful.
“Taimur was a conqueror and he is expected to be a little violent,” Saif says as the host nods in agreement.
Then he compares Taimur to Ashoka.
“Ashoka was a violent ruler,” he says. The host excitedly chips in “Alexander”.
For the sake of information, which the rabid seculars and myopic liberals won’t listen to, Ashoka was indeed cruel as can be understood from the 13th rock edict in Kalinga, Odisha, but it was the Kalinga war that changed his heart. He left all bloodshed and converted to Buddhism. The world knows him not as a brutal barbarian like Taimur but as Ashoka the Great.
Alexander, too, was a conqueror, but the Macedonian emperor did not hang the heads of his enemies on pikes, did not pillage cities, and did not massacre civilians. On the contrary, he gave the utmost respect his adversaries such as Porus deserved.
Saif then says that if we get into changing names, “we will be changing everyone’s name like Calcutta Airport”. (For the record, Kolkata’s Dum Dum International Airport was renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport many years ago.)
So, basically, Saif said that: 1. Ashoka was like Taimur, and 2. The name change of Kolkata’s airport is a matter to laugh about.
He then comments on Islamophobia. (Not that it is not there.) He says that he wanted to give his son a “nice Muslim name and hopefully bring him up with secular values”.
There is no problem in that. But what he says before that goes against the very “secular values” stuff he wants his son to have.
“I can’t name my son Alexander and realistically can’t name him Ram,” he says.
It is quite surprising that Shah Rukh Khan named his elder son Aryan, a name that has more to do with Hinduism than anything else, and his youngest child AbRam, a variation of Prophet Abraham who is revered in both Christianity and Islam.