Subir Bhaumik writes at Al Jazeerra:
In a small, hilly state tucked away in India’s remote northeast, Hitler is out to try his luck at politics. So is Frankenstein.
Meghalaya, a predominantly Christian state, will vote for its 60-member state assembly on February 23. Three hundred and forty-five candidates representing several national and regional groupings are in the fray.
One of them is Adolf lu Hitler R Marak, contesting the Bajengdoba constituency in the Garo Hills area.
He has been active in Meghalaya politics for a while, even serving as a minister for a brief spell, before he lost the elections in 2003 to Zenith Sangma.
Five years later, Hitler defeated Zenith to return to the state assembly. And Hitler has had some strangely named company in the state assembly.
Candidates with names like Churchill, Roosevelt and Chamberlain won elections and became members of the Meghalaya state assembly in past years.
The eclectic names are “a social phenomenon, not related to elections”, Julia Kharkhongor, a local voter, said. “We have parents giving these funny names to children all the while in our society. Some of them grow up to contest elections,” she said. “A name means nothing to me. I will [vote for a candidate based on] what he can do for us.”
This year, a dark-horse candidate – none other than Frankenstein – is out to contest elections in Meghalaya.
Frankenstein Momin, like Adolf Hitler Marak, is a candidate belonging to India’s governing Congress party, which also rules Meghalaya. He is contesting the seat in Mendhipathar.
But as they say in Meghalaya, there is nothing in the name. “I dont think anybody with a funny name gets an extra vote or even extra attention,” said Indian historian David Syiemlieh.
Other analysts agree.
“I dont think there is any detailed explanation for these funny names. But the practice of giving funny names to children have been around for quite some time ,” says Joshua Thomas, regional director of the Indian Council of Social Science Research in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
“My wife is a doctor and she has found parents naming children Anasthesia just because that was needed during the delivery,” says Thomas.
Read more here.