States & UTs

    Why the names 'Vikas' and 'Anamika' are anathema in UP

    April20/ 2022
    Last Updated:

    Lucknow: As 2020 bids a much-awaited adieu and Corona emerges as the most feared word of the year, there are two more words, rather names, that have become anathema in Uttar Pradesh.

    'Vikas' and 'Anamika' are now names that are scorned, ridiculed and even hated for unrelated reasons.

    'Vikas' earned its share of disdain when, on July 3, a little-known gangster, Vikas Dubey, killed eight policemen in an ambush in Bikru village in Kanpur.

    Almost overnight, Vikas became a much-hated and feared name in the state.

    Vikas Gulati, a class 9 student in a prestigious boys' school in Lucknow, said his friend now referred to him as 'Vikas Dubey' and he 'detests' it.

    "Some of them have even fed my number in their phones as 'Vikas Dubey'. I shudder to think of the kind of ridicule I would have faced if the school was open," he said.

    His father, Akash Gulati, said that he never realized that his son would be name-shamed like this. "I am seriously thinking of changing his name before he fills up his board papers. I do not want him to feel uncomfortable with his name."

    R.P. Singh, a local lawyer, said that he had already moved applications for change of names of two of his clients.

    "One of them, an engineer by profession, is named Vikas Dubey and wants to change his name to Vinay Dubey. Since he is a government employee, the legal formalities are taking time. Another client also does not want to share his name with the gangster," said Singh.

    His engineer client said, "The problem is not that there was a gangster called Vikas Dubey. The problem is that this name now evokes so much hatred that I want to get mine changed."

    Anamika, meanwhile, is another name that evokes instant scorn.

    Anamika Shukla, it may be recalled, is the name of a teacher who had 25 namesakes working simultaneously as teachers in Kasturba Balika Vidyalayas in UP on the documents of the real Anamika Shukla.

    The lid was blown off the scam in June this year and it was found that the namesakes had drawn more than Rs one crore as salary in 13 months.

    The real 'Anamika Shukla', incidentally, was jobless.

    'Wherever I go, my colleagues ask me 'Kaun si Anamika ho?" (which Anamika are you?) and it is no longer funny. I have decided to change my name to Bhumika even though there will be several formalities to complete," said Anamika Gaur, a teacher in a private school.

    Another Anamika– Anamika Mathur-said that her name had become synonymous with forgery and she would have changed her name if it were not for the innumerable formalities needed to do so.

    Mathur is a senior executive with a multi-brand company.


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