Name is important. Naming ceremony (naamkaran) has its own sanctity in india taken seriously. There are still some old fashioned people who, when you tell your name, will ask the meaning of your name and will be glad to know its significance. Every culture and religion has a naming ceremony. How something is named also portrays history and culture. A wrong name or misplaced name has its own negative feelings. Most probably, in India no one names their sons or daughters, Duryodhan or Draupadi. In western world, I have not come across someone named Judas. Muslim’s don’t name their child Allah. And there will be many such examples.
If names were not that important then why when people convert they have to change name.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a play, where Juliet is troubled by Romeo’s surname- Montague. In a scene she says:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Readers should know, this is just part of the dialogue in play “Romeo and Juliet” which is noted as Tragedy. The complete play – Romeo & Juliet is a blood feud between two families – Montague and Capulet. Romeo is House Montague and Juliet is House Capulet. The entire play is a feud between NAMES – rather SURNAMES, as Indian would identify with. Why should we use two lines of weeping and bereft Juliet’s dialogue against the whole play where Romeo and Juliet die in the end because of names. These two lines are a part of a long monologue by Juliet where she is trying to rationalise her thoughts and feelings against the reality of the situations she is actually facing. This rationalisation leads to a sad ending of their love story.
The oft repeated words, “What’s in a name?” is used to scoff and undermine the necessity to go deeper and find truth of a name.
If you want to name something, observe the way your thoughts go. You will see its a very personal thing. Further, if you are the parents of a Child or a say, Company, you would love to name it yourself. You feel the need to possess the name.
Changing names by invading culture has been a part of cultural trampling. Also foreigners changes names because they couldn’t pronounce our names of cities and town’s etc. They could change names of places because for them that was just passing a law. Because they made the law. But the invading forces couldn’t interfere with our culture at a personal level. And so we still continue to name the way we have always done.