BENGALURU : As a progressive youth, I believe that giving up my surname will take away the privileges I may get and reduce the caste-based discrimination persisting in the nation,” Sanjay, a 23-year-old techie, tells CE. Sanjay is a part of a group called The Loafers that was recently formed in Bengaluru by a bunch of youngsters who want to do their bit to erase casteism from society.
“All of us have decided to remove our surnames in order to remove caste barriers and send across a message to people that such a discriminatory system has no place in our country in the 21st century. We are a small group now, and urge other youngsters to join us in this initiative,” Anagha, another member of the group, adds.
Ritika joins in the conversation, saying, “Though changing your name officially by removing the surname may seem to be a hassle, it is not impossible. Many women change their surnames after marriage, so removing it should also not be a problem.”Members of The Loafers, who have filed affidavits in court to remove their surnames, also travel across Karnataka and neighbouring states to spread their message.
They visit various places on their two-wheelers on weekends to urge people to take similar steps in order to obliterate the significance given to caste in India and minimise the bias that may creep in towards or against a person during various social interactions. “Doing away with my surname and using only my first name in any application form will certainly make an impact,” Hariharan, who is also a part of the group,
says, adding, “Instead of giving preferences based on caste in jobs and education, the privileges should be given based on family income and merit.”