To,

The President
The Institute Of Chartered Accountants of India
Indraprastha Marg
New Delhi-110001

REF: Why are surnames used in members name being prefixed in our organization? Does it not lead to promoting caste-ism and why such arrangements are being used in electoral? The electoral be corrected before going for next round of elections.

Respected President  Sir,

Your attention is drawn to the above question. Our institute is maintaining the records prefixing the surname of the members in their names. The surnames shared in common to identify the members of a particular caste as distinguished from each member’s given name. It is also a family name, family profession, and last name or in many cases the titles awarded to the ancestors.

May I know why the Institute is maintaining the entry of the member’s name in a manner which is neither good nor moderate? There are many sets of Cataloguing rules based on an International standard to record the name and I would like to know ultimately which set of a rule adopted by the Institute in maintaining the database in the present form

I would like to place my reservation and objection in a manner the Institute is maintaining such records. In my opinion, I found the following prelim objections for maintaining the list of members. This is also to be noted that ultimately the list of voters generates from these records in our institute elections. The candidates are supposed to write their names as published in the member’s list.T he choice of maintaining the records may be as per your wish but elections shall be fair but how can it be fair if our lists and ballot paper carries the prefixing surnames. The candidates of popular caste are definitely advantageous to those whose castes which are less known or lower.  The independence and freedom of the people of India have certainly influenced by the reform movements that worked towards achieving social equality. But innocently our Institute is feeding the social evil of carrying and popularizing the caste system by prefixing the same in member’s name.

I feel the Institute is doing a crime in glorifying the caste or surname of the members by writing the same before the real names given by the parents. The caste or surnames are being added later and it is also known that the caste system has existed since the Vedic Age, but it was during British rule that the census enumerated Indians by caste. The founding fathers of newly independent India wanted to build a caste-less society and decided to do away with it as a category. But it didn’t go away. Here in our ICAI, we are popularizing the castes in the name of surname, which in my view requires all your attention and remedial measures be taken at utmost care as in this year we again have to go for the Institute Elections.

ICAI Election Fever

So, the need of the hour is that popularizing and glorifying the caste system be discontinue. It is also important not to judge an older society by modern standards. Social relations cannot be entirely separated from how productive activities are carried out and what the level of available technology makes socially possible.

In today’s world, the widespread availability of printed matter, of computers and other means to store and develop knowledge systems makes the older systems of learning and skill-preservation largely redundant. By a single click in the data maintained by our institute, we can filter any number of members belonging to any particular caste by filtering it. Does that mean that our Institute has the caste gene The fact that we live in a social set-up defined by caste does not mean we are a caste base institute? The alarming part at the institute is that data is freely available with the members, especially to the candidates. To judge the seriousness of data in members hand that many of the council members congratulate the members on their birthday by SMS or email and unfortunately ICAI called the Date of Birth as the password from the member. The same is being abused so you can understand how that data is being abused to make our records, election and relation caste based. We can simply deny it in the name of practice being carried out for decades.

But the truth is that we are always conscious of our caste and the nature of our interaction with fellow Indians depend on the caste he/she belongs to. In our society, we are aware of castes and we are also aware which caste belongs to which class.  Our records clearly indicate that we have this and that number of a particular caste.

The system of maintaining the member’s data is also not uniform and in some of the cases, it is quite objectionable. Like in the case of Muslims, They write the name of their God after their name with a pious feeling of protection and blessings but the data maintain by you pick their God name at first place. Generally, we address or called a person by the first name so we are calling their God name in place of their names which may hurt their sentiments.

Social divisions and inequities were a convenient tool in the arsenal of the colonizers. We are aware that once the Honorable Minister has objected to the word Chartered as representing as colonial age. So when the representations as mention above shall come into their knowledge it will only further embarrass us.

I feel, there must be some sound principals in adopting it. If I would get the reply, my curiosity shall be satisfied and shall be able to rectify any impression.

All my legal and social avenues are open in case the subject matter does not get attention from the torch bearers of my Alma mater.

( Unfortunately  , there is no response from the President From: amresh_vashisht@yahoo.com<amresh_vashisht@yahoo.com> 
Sent: 24 June 2018 22:52 To: President’s Secretariat <prezoffice@icai.in>; president@icai.org after acknowledgement;   
Sir,We acknowledge the receipt of your email. The same is being forwarded to the concerned department for appropriate response.Thanks & Regards President’s Secretariat, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India 011-30110403/490/445 ) 

(About the Author– Author was Member of ICAI- Capacity Building Committee 2010-11 and ICAI- Committee For Direct Taxes 2011-12 and can be reached at email amresh_vashisht@yahoo.com or on phone Phone: 0121-2661946. Cell: 9837515432 having office at 115, Chappel Street, Meerut Cantt, UP, INDIA)

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One response to “ICAI- Why surnames used in CA name being prefixed in our organization?”

  1. mukesh kedia says:

    I totally agree with you and system of putting surname as prefix should be discontinued.

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