My Name A Mislead Identity

Amidst the budding and persistent tension of the pandemic wherein India is also going through a political turmoil, talking about my name might seem narcissistic.

Recently, the Central Board of Secondary Education slashed the class 11 political science syllabus to a great extent. The cut off parts include sections on citizenship, secularism and nationalism. The relation between the two things looks eccentric, but from my perspective it is not.

My name is Fiza, the first hint that any person belonging to any part of the world who is aware about the religious identities attached to names would have thought that I am Muslim. Thinking that I am Muslim is not the problem, but assuming, that I am “one” is the issue. Indian constitution states that India is a secular country and removing secularism from the syllabus isn’t going to have any positive impact. To substantiate the whimsical argument, I would give a real life situation that I faced.

I am a student journalist from Cardiff University and came back to India from United Kingdom on 22 June 2020 with the Vande Bharat Mission. After landing there were a lot of formalities to be completed which included filling numerous forms and writing my name in each one of them. After completing my 7 day quarantine in a hotel, I received an official quarantine document from the UP government and I noticed that they had written my name “Fiza Khan”. Let me tell you that my surname is not Khan and neither am I a Muslim. What is it then? After filling endless documents, they had got my full name wrong. This is the place where we educate young Indians about secularity in India.

The official document provided by the government

Going through all these situations had made me think that the secularity amongst Indians is divided and it is important to remove that segregation engraved in their mind. It is important to inculcate the sense of togetherness amongst Indians in each and every sphere possible, to make India the way our constitution framers envisaged it to be.

I love my name and every meaning attached to it. But I have often encountered situations wherein people conclude my religion just by knowing my forename. This judgement was not only made by strangers, but so have my family members. It’s about time that I want each and every person to know that my name is derived from the language “Urdu” and not from any religion.