Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Saddam Hussein is a very popular name in one Indian village

Amarnath Tewary:

It is a typical nondescript village - like many others - in the northern Indian state of Bihar.

It consists of unplastered brick houses, dusty lanes, thatched structures and dirt-laden children with no shoes and running noses.

There appears to be little running water or other infrastructure.

But there is one thing about the village of Lakhanow - and other settlements in the area - that makes them strikingly different.

Ejaj Alam - a small-time civil contractor in his mid-30s - provides the answer: he has decided to re-name his three-year-old son.

Instead of being called Majhar Alam, Mr Alam has opted to call the boy Saddam Hussein in honour of the former Iraqi leader who was executed on 30 December.

What is more, the child will not be the only Saddam Hussein in the neighbourhood. There are more than 20 other Saddam Husseins in Lakhanow alone.

Local people say there are more than 100 Saddam Husseins in 27 adjoining villages dominated by mostly Sunni Muslims.

There is even a family with one son called Saddam Hussein and a younger sibling called Osama Bin Laden.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that all the children bearing the name of Saddam Hussein were born after the first American war with Iraq in 1991.

Before the war, the name Saddam Hussein was hardly used at all, says Mohammed Nizamuddin, whose grandson was born in 1991 and is called Saddam Hussein.

And, now after the recent high-profile and much photographed execution of the Iraqi leader, the villagers of Lakhanow have decided to name all the new born baby boys after him.

"This is our way to pay tribute to our leader. We want to carry on his legacy here at least in our village," said Ejaj Alam.

"God willing one day our village will be full of Saddam Husseins."

Other villagers feel equally passionate about the issue.

"George Bush can hang one Saddam Hussein but we will create an army of Saddam Husseins. Let him come to our village and see how Saddam Hussein can never be executed," local leader Ayub Khan said.

There is no talk here of the former Iraqi leader's appalling human rights record, no mention of the people he murdered and no references to his numerous "miscalculations". All that is brushed aside by the Saddam Hussein personality cult.

Close to the village is the only private school, Dini Academy, where almost 100 Saddam Husseins come to read, write and know more about the former Iraqi leader.

"It was during the Gulf War we came to know about the bravery and valour of the Iraqi president who mustered courage to defy American diktats," Mr Nizamuddin said.

The problem with all these "Saddam Husseins" is that many of them will probably end up living in the United States and Europe where they can show their devotion to their "leader" by bombing innocent people.


At 12:05 PM, Blogger Carbon said...

They're Biharis (by reputation, the stupidest people in India) - they aren't going anywhere. They might blow stuff up in India though.

At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They ( Indian muslims) consider Saddam and Osama to be their heros but can not explain what these chaps have done for them except teach them to blow up parts of their own country and heritage


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