How unique is your name? Meet Emergency, Tsunami, Lockdown named after historical events

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Azad Kapoor, Lockdown Kakkandi and Emergency Yadav. —BBC

While most Indian parents name their children after gods or movie icons, some, in their search for uniqueness, choose completely different sources.

The BBC met a few people in India with unique names that were inspired by historical events.

Azad Kapoor

The word “Azad” means “free”. Since Azad Kapoor was born on August 15, 1947, Indian Independence Day, her parents named her accordingly.

Azad Kapoor, 75, was born when India gained independence from British rule.  —BBC
Azad Kapoor, 75, was born when India gained independence from British rule. —BBC

As a child, Azad was unhappy with her name as it’s usually a boy’s name, but she eventually got used to it.

Needless to say, no one ever forgets their birthday.

“My friends joke that the whole country celebrates my birthday,” she said.

Emergency Yadav

On June 26, 1975, a state of emergency was declared in India in a radio announcement.

The country was threatened by “internal troubles”, according to Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister.

Urgence Yadav, 47, was born on June 26, 1975.— BBC
Urgence Yadav, 47, was born on June 26, 1975.— BBC

This is the day Emergency Yadav was born. Emergency’s father, who was an opposition politician, said he did not want anyone to forget “that sad and dark period in Indian history”.

He was imprisoned just hours before his son was born and was able to meet the emergency in 1977 when the state was lifted.

Tsunami Roy

Mounitha Roy, Tsunami’s mother, had to take refuge on top of a small hill as a heavily pregnant woman during a catastrophic tsunami in 2004.

Tsunami Roy, 17, was born during a devastating tsunami on top of a small rock in the dark without any help.  —BBC
Tsunami Roy, 17, was born during a devastating tsunami on top of a small rock in the dark without any help. —BBC

She said BBC that she had asked her family to escape as she had no escape for herself and her unborn child.

Without any help, she delivered her son in the dark on the rock.

While Tsunami was bullied for his name as a child, his mother said the name meant “hope and survival”.

“My son was the only good thing that happened that day,” Roy said.

Khazanchi Nath

The word “Khazanchi” means “cashier”. The five-year-old child was born at the Punjab National Bank after Prime Minister Modi’s surprise announcement regarding the demonetization or banning of banknotes in India.

Khazanchi Nath, 5, was born in a bank.  —BBC
Khazanchi Nath, 5, was born in a bank. —BBC

While queuing at the bank to withdraw money, Khazanchi’s mother gave birth.

The mother said everyone suggested the baby was named Khazanchi as he was born in a bank.

While the notice created panic in the country, with his name Khazanchi brought good luck to the family.

“He brought us money and wealth, everyone helps us,” his mother said.

Kakkandi containment

Lockdown Kakkandi, 2, was born on March 24, 2020 when Prime Minister Modi declared the nationwide lockdown.  —BBC
Lockdown Kakkandi, 2, was born on March 24, 2020 when Prime Minister Modi declared the nationwide lockdown. —BBC

Lockdown Kakkandi was born just a week after COVID-19 caused a shutdown in India two years ago. In his small village, Lockdown is nothing short of a celebrity.

His father said he was born “at the height of the lockdown”, which is why it was difficult to find a vehicle or a doctor.

In March 2020, Prime Minister Modi declared a nationwide lockdown, with citizens only given a few hours’ notice.


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