When an Indian marine engineer's grandfather named him Saddam Hussain, little did he foresee the trouble that would follow his grandson as an adult. After being rejected by shipping companies as many as 40 times, the baffled marine engineer from Tamil Nadu's Noorul Islam University, finally understood what was happening.
"People are scared to hire me," Hussain, who hailed from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, told the Hindustan Times. Saddam Hussain was an Iraqi dictator whose authoritarian rule was toppled by the US in 2003. He was executed in 2006.
The trouble started when even after two years of completing his marine engineering degree he failed to find a job. He told HT he inquired with the HR departments of the companies and came to know that it was his name that was scaring off potential employers. When a job requires frequent travel, a name like his will set off airport security and border patrol, causing trouble for his employers, he was told.
The marine engineer started the process of changing his name. He legally changed his name to Sajid, including in all legal documents — passport, voter ID and driving licence.
However he hit a roadblock with his education certificates. His university refused to change his name to Sajid until he got his Board exam certificates changed first. However he is still waiting for a response from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). he has also moved the Jharkhand High Court as a desperate measure. His hearing is on May 5.