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Opinion

There’s a lot in a name, says JP 77, Kerala’s Kozhikode BJP nominee

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The Keralites’ love for Russian and Latin American names is well known. Move around and you can still find many Breshnevs, Khrushchev, Lenin, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in the field. But JP 77 is a bit different.

Five years ago, when JP Seventy Seven went to Dubai on a trip, the airport authorities had a hard time and repeatedly asked him to reveal his full name. With great difficulty he convinced them that it was his real name. Despite those minor irritants, JP 77 revels (on his Aadhaar card is JPseventyseven, he says he lacked space in true Aadhaar style) in the glory of his name. Although his father was a fervent admirer of the late socialist Jayprakash Narayan, his 43-year-old son belongs to the BJP camp. He is the party candidate from one of the Kayanna districts in the Kozhikode district in North Kerala.

Now how did JP 77 get its name? “I was born in 1977, the year the emergency was lifted. My father was a huge fan of Lok Nayak Jayprakash Narayan. It was the beginning of a new dawn after the dark days of the emergency, so my father was eager to join both Emergency and JP, so they called me JP 77, ”he said.

JP 77 works in the marketing department of Janmabhoomi, the spokesperson for the BJP. He said he’s known in his area as JP and 77 doesn’t bother him much these days.

“When I grew up, many people advised me to change my name, but I stick with it, as my late father TV Ramadas gave it to me lovingly. More than one’s name, a person is known for their work, behavior and attitude, ”JP 77 said. He is locked in a fierce three-way competition in local agency polls. He said that in the last local elections, the BJP came in second place and its mission is to close the small gap and emerge victorious.

At least 30 km from her neighborhood, Brasilia, a former Muslim League councilor, is trying her luck again at Kozhikode Corporation (North Kerala). A fervent fan of the Brazil soccer team, her soccer fan uncle named her in honor of the Brazilian capital. Kozhikode’s football craze is well known. During the soccer World Cup, many fans wear their favorite player’s jersey and are known to their player until the tournament is over. And they also love naming their newborn kids after their favorite teams or soccer players.

Last year, the Idukki District Congressional Committee convened a gathering of those who bear the name of Gandhi to commemorate the 150th birthday of the Father of the Nation. At least 100 ‘Gandhis’ from various parts of Kerala and neighboring Tamil Nadu responded to the invitation. Naming in honor of the greats and plays of all time is prevalent in many parts of the world. According to NBC News, more than 4,500 children in the United States were named after characters in Game of Throne (American fantasy drama series) in 2018.

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