Why Does Her Signature Still Have Her Maiden Name?

Why do the in-laws of Indian society, get very offended when a bride refuses to give up her maiden name? It's her name, it's her choice!

Why do the in-laws, in our Indian society, feel offended and slighted when a bride refuses to give up her maiden name? It’s her name, it’s her choice!

Shakespeare said:”What’s in a name?” and if no one else, but the in-laws of Indian society, must have been very offended when they heard it!

A year ago

25th March 2022:

I was signing as one of the witnesses for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s legal wedding. That was the first time in 9 years, my mother-in-law happened to see my signature!

“Why does her signature still have her maiden name?” She furiously asked my husband.

“Because all her identification proofs and documents are in that name. She can’t change all of it.” my husband replied with a smile.

She paused and said, “In 9 years, this should have happened.

My husband did not say anything, then it would transform into a heated argument in no time!
We did all the formalities and sat in the car. After returning home, she again took out the same topic.

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“You got married the year you turned 18. You did not have your PAN card or Adhaar card made already, so your documents came with your new name in the first place itself. Nilshree married me when she was 25. She had her photo IDs made in her maiden name. She was working and hence it was mandatory to be done. Now if I go for a name change, foremost it is a tedious process and the fact that she belongs to this house is more than the fact that she has her maiden name on her documents!

For the first time, I felt supported!

I felt so good because it was the first time he stood up for me.

But that is not the whole crux of the matter right now. My signature being in my maiden name, and all my documents being in my maiden name is a privilege that I am given is what I was made to feel. I have observed, many follow it as a practice to change the bride’s name, as in the first name, after the marriage.

How unfortunate it is! When we are named as a child, we do not possess the intellect to understand its importance at that time and the second time, we do not have permission to choose it!

She has had this name for more than two decades!

A girl who has lived with a name for 20–30 years of her life is suddenly entitled to a new one for a reason that is not known to anyone! More than the habit, it is the emotional connection with that name, the memories of the closest of our friends cutting it short in the trendiest possible way to make it sound cool!

And yes, for a lifetime, they call us by that name only!

Another obligation that comes after marriage is the addition of a new last name and the removal of the old one. Well, it is a personal choice too, and should not be an obligation.

It’s a choice

In my case, being a love marriage, my parents were not in favour. I got married in a very controversial and tough situation. The day I got married, I decided I will attach my new last name with my maiden name.

Keeping my maiden last name intact to my name made me feel like I have their presence and blessing in whatever I do, again an emotional connection.

So, to everyone obsessed with changing the name of a woman depending on her social status, leave it to her. It is her choice, you are no one to decide it for her.

Image source: pecess609, free and edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Nilshree Damani Yelulkar

A mother, homemaker, self-published author, founder, and podcast host at Authoropod. read more...

28 Posts | 17,228 Views

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