Tuesday, September 09, 2014

What's in a name??

"What is your name ?" is probably the first question each of us has been asked when we started school. Quite an easy answer, I thought until I started filling up forms in life.

School forms ask you to expand names with Initials.

Passport Application form asks you to fill up Surname, First Name, Last Name.

College Application forms ask for First, Middle and Last names.

I happened to look at PAN card application form this evening. There is an illustration which shows the main name written in the Surname column.

For example someone with A.K.Rainbow as the name will have issues filling up the name in any form in her life:

In the school, the name will be A.K.Rainbow
In college, it will be Always.K.Rainbow
In Passport, it will be Rainbow.K Always
In PAN Card, it will be Always K.Rainbow

Now, with such a complication in the name, when this person has to go to the bank to open an account, they will have rules to say.

Thirty years later, when there is a property transaction in Ms. Rainbow's name ( I am not mentioning the confusion in the documents when Ms. Rainbow decides to get married and change her Surname) and two proofs for name are asked, what documents will Ms. Rainbow furnish??

There are workarounds for everything. So, some document will be furnished and some gazetted officer will attest and the work will get done, but there are instances when authorities are unable to spell the right name due to the various permutations/proofs prevalent in names. There are many land and property transactions pending closure due to this problem. There are many bank account issues faced by bankers every day due to the same.

Now, when someone is faced with an inheritance issue that is pending clarification on name, do you think this person will agree that "What is your name?" is a simple question anymore??

One solution: Can there be a standardization for all forms across the country?? Some rule has to be passed somewhere if not already done, to standardize names and it has to start from school forms.

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