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Socialism gets Indian wedding, comrades to attend

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P Mamata Banerjee (left), named by her grandfather after a left-wing politician in West Bengal, with groom named Socialism pose for a photograph during their wedding in the southern Indian city of Salem on Sunday. AFP

Socialism gets Indian wedding, comrades to attend

Even little Marxism won’t miss out when Socialism gets married in southern India this weekend with his big brothers Communism and Leninism in attendance.

All are the progeny of A Mohan, a district secretary of the Communist Party of India in Tamil Nadu state where left-wing ideology still burns red-hot.

“My first son was born during the fall of the Soviet Union and everywhere in the news I was reading that this was the end of communism,” Mohan said.

“But there is no end for communism as long as the human race lives on, so I named my first-born Communism,” he said.

His next two sons were named Leninism – whose five-month-old son Marxism will also attend the nuptials on June 13 – and Socialism, the groom.

Pictures of the invitation to the wedding, embossed with hammer-and-sickle emblems, have gone viral on social media.

Socialism’s bride-to-be meanwhile is P Mamata Banerjee, named by her grandfather after a firebrand left-wing politician in West Bengal.

The fact that this other Banerjee ended several decades of communist rule in 2011 in the eastern state to become chief minister isn’t spoiling the party.

India leaned more towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and names like Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky and even Pravda – the name of the USSR’s state newspaper – are not unheard of, particularly in the south.

Tamil Nadu’s current chief minister is MK Stalin, named by his father in honour of the Soviet communist dictator just days before he died in Russia.

Mohan said that there was nothing unusual about his sons’ names – some of his “comrades” gave their children names such as Moscow, Russia, Vietnam and Czechoslovakia.

But he admitted that his boys, especially Communism, were sometimes teased at school. One hospital refused to admit Communism when he was three years old.

“They were scared of the name Communism and initially I faced a lot of troubles. But over time, things smoothed out,” he said.

All three sons, now in their 20s, are fellow members of the local communist party, and Leninism named his son after none other than Karl Marx.

“Now I am waiting for a grand-daughter from one of my sons, who I will name Cubaism,” Mohan added.

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