Call it a cultural norm, gesture of respect or love, Gujarati names are seldom ever complete without the suffixes, ben or bhai. But now, many Gujaratis have been approaching the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot to have these suffixes removed.
Passport officials have told a national daily that they have received around 800 applications to remove the suffixes, ‘ben’, ‘bhai’ and ‘Kumar’.
In one instance, officials claimed, a woman wanted to change the spelling of her name ‘behen’ to ‘ben’ to make it simple. The officials said the inconsistency in spelling was another issue.
A partner in a city-based advertising agency told the daily that on average, they place 20-odd advertisements daily in two newspapers as is the norm. “Majority of the name change applications are related to the removal or addition of suffixes. Another major category of name change is of a woman after marriage if she adopts a new name,” he said.
Some crucial documents necessary for the passport include school-leaving certificate, Aadhaar, PAN card, and photo ID card such as driving licence.