Ram or Taimur, Saif Ali Khan's son would be just as sweet

Saif Ali Khan is a good actor, though. And he should restrict himself to on-camera performances rather than pontificating on issues that don’t concern him.

Subhash K Jha September 29, 2022 13:07:06 IST
Ram or Taimur, Saif Ali Khan's son would be just as sweet

Saif Ali Khan thinks he is a bit of a talker. His conversations are replete with rehearsed witticisms and his attitude is that of a man who thinks he is too good to be a Hindi film actor. He reminds me of Shashi Kapoor in both attitude and looks. But he lacks Shashi’s charm. Being thoroughly Westernized Shashi could yet squat on the ground with the crew of his films and eat lunch with them. Saif would rather have his meal on the table, and where is the mineral water please?

Saif is a good actor, though. And he should restrict himself to on-camera performances rather than pontificating on issues that don’t concern him. At least, not directly. A video in which he is heard talking about his son Taimur’s name has recently erupted on the internet revealing how shallow and bigoted an actor, hence an influencer, can get when he has no reason to be.

In the video, Saif with that synthesis of smirk and solemnity that is all his, informs the public that he couldn’t have named his son Ram, so why not Taimur?

Wow! Saif plays Ravan in a film (Adipurush). But he can’t name his son Ram! I wonder why! Could it be because he is a Muslim? No no, can’t be. He comes from such a liberal family. Saif’s mother is a Hindu, his sister is married to a Hindu. Most importantly, his wife Kareena is a Hindu.

If Taimur’s mother is Hindu why can’t their son have a Hindu name? Even if for argument’s sake we say Saif and Kareena’s children must take after their father’s religion (which in principle, is not a good idea) why can’t the children have the freedom to be named without prejudice?

It is frightening to actually see the children being named according to the father’s religion. Saif’s first wife Amrita Singh’s father was a Sikh. Her children with Saif are named Sara and Ibrahim. Saif’s second wife Kareena is a Hindu. Their children are named Taimur and Jehangir.

Why can’t at least one of those four children have a Hindu name? Saif’s mother Sharmila Tagore, one of those most liberal and enlightened women in India allowed herself to be converted and renamed Ayesha…Or so we have heard.

Why not Ram or Rahim, Sara or Sudha? Why this naked display of bigotry in an enlightened family ostensibly liberal family? Can we really point fingers at pro-Pakistan sloganeers when the educated enlightened Muslim thinks his son can’t be named Ram because…well, he is not Hindu.

 

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The ‘boycott Vikram Vedha’ trend on social media post-Saif‘ Ram-page’ is not a befitting reply to bigotry. A more healthy positive and balanced give-and-take in an intercaste marriage is. I think mixed marriages need to have more assertive partners. Kareena should ask the question that the nation is asking,

Why nor Ram, Saif?

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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