‘What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ may have been asked by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet but Bollywood celebrity Rajkummar Rao is now turning that around and asking what is in a surname? The star sparked off a Twitter tirade after his tweet with many of his fans turning the question into an existential question altogether.
When Rao asked the purpose of surnames, he had to take a jibe from his followers for having himself changed his surname from Yadav to Rao. The change in surname with an alphabet addition in 2013, is still ringing strong with his fans. Rao had previously clarified during a media interview why he did the surname switch, “I always wanted to keep my surname as Rao because Yadav or Rao is the same surname in Haryana. I thought if you have to add one extra ‘M’, this is the time to add Rao also.”
The clarification did not stop his followers from digging into his past and creating a humorous thread. Some posted picture his name-alikes from the industry while others shared a scene from the comedy film Dhamaal where a side character’s surname never ends.
Nepotism was high on the agenda with many followers stating there will be fewer Kapoors in Bollywood for stars like Sonam and Shraddha would be out of work. Absence of a surname might even give scope for other actors. Even the possibility of having a film like Kapoor & sons would not have been possible without a surname.
Eventually, the debate turned to popular joke reference, ‘Sharma ji ka beta’ and the fact that Indians kids and adults alike would have been spared the comparison in the absence of surnames.
The triviality and perplexity of Rao’s question set Twitter in a tizzy with an eventual reply from Aadhaar as well. What is in a surname you still ask?