Eyebrows Raised and Heads Turned When MK Stalin Said His Name at Russian Airport in 1989

AFP

New Delhi: Sharing a name with one of Europe's most brutal dictators isn't a problem in his home country, but Indian politician MK Stalin admitted on Friday it had 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," Stalin told 'The Times of India'.

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

MK Stalin's father M Karunanidhi, the socialist former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, deliberately named his son after the Russian communist leader. India was more closely allied to the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and particularly in southern India names like Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky and even Pravda for women are not unheard of.

The north-eastern state of Meghalaya, meanwhile, has a politician named Adolf Lu Hitler Marak.