Children of the Revolution – in India

Revolutions have a tendency to spur all sorts of creative activities, not least among those the revolution benefits most – the common workers and farmers. One activity that intrigues me is children’s names. Russian parents were not the only ones to call their offspring Marks, Engelina, Stalina, and Ninel (or indeed Barikada, Ateist, Traktorina, and Elektrifikatsiy). It happened and still happens in India, in circles where the tradition runs strong.

Aware of this situation, the Russian Cultural Centre, in Thiruvananthapuram, organised a day where all those so named were gathered. As reported, Lenin opened the evening, while Stalin was master of ceremonies. Participants were greeted by Khrushchev, while Brezhnev and even Yuri Gagarin made speeches. The oldest person present was Stalin (at 58) and the youngest was a child named Pravda.

I’ve got to ask: where’s the creativity in naming kids in Australia?

(ht ll)

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5 thoughts on “Children of the Revolution – in India

  1. I found a wonderful article by you on the radical Father Thomas J. Hagerty, and I wondered if you had ever found out any more information as to why he dropped out of both activism and the Church, and ended as he did?

    thanks,
    Don Lee
    donthepoet@yahoo.com

  2. Here in the Philippines, babies who were born during the height of the struggle that toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and the 1980 were also named by their activist mothers and fathers after revolutionary heroes and martyrs, including of course the founding figures. So a generation of Karls, Marxs, Lenins, Maolens, Mark Lenins, Chi Minhs, and Normans (referring to Bethune) as well as those growing up with initials like AS (for the armed struggle) and KM (for Marx himself and the radical youth org Kabataang Makabayan). Internationalists they were, those parents!

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