“I Told My Name, People Stared”

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MK Stalin’s father M Karunanidhi deliberately named him after Joseph Stalin (AFP)

New Delhi: 

Sharing a name with one of Europe’s most brutal dictators isn’t a problem in India, but DMK chief MK Stalin admitted on Friday it raised eyebrows on a visit to Russia.

“As soon as I landed at a Russian airport, I was asked to mention my name. When I said ‘Stalin’ many people at the airport started looking at me,” Mr Stalin told the Times of India.

“While checking my passport, officials asked me several questions before I was allowed,” he said of the 1989 trip. “Many people in Russia didn’t like Joseph Stalin.”

MK Stalin’s father M Karunanidhi, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, deliberately named his son after the Russian communist leader Joseph Stalin.

India was more closely allied to the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and particularly in south India names like Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky and even Pravda for women are not unheard of.

Meghalaya, meanwhile, has a politician named Adolf Lu Hitler Marak.

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