There can be numerous reasons for people to want to change their names. Sometimes it may be to correct a misspelling that was made earlier, to take on their spouse’s family name after marriage, to change their surname after a divorce, for astrological or numerological reasons, or even if they are not satisfied with their original given names.
Very often, people want to change their names or take on a pseudonym, or a stage name, which they realise suits them more than their actual name. This is commonly seen among celebrities who adopt names that are catchy or easier to pronounce for foreign audiences, or who take on the names of people they idolise because of their impact in their lives.
At other times, the reasons for changing one’s name may be entirely personal, such as wanting to change a name that is embarrassing or awkward to pronounce, or one that has an unpleasant meaning in another language.
It is also frequently seen that parents who maintain their respective family names often merge their surnames for their child, giving the child a hyphenated surname.
Changing one’s name is a perfectly legal practice as long as there is no fraudulent intention or a desire to deceive people. But, whatever the reason may be, just declaring oneself to have a new name is not sufficient, at least from a legal perspective. To make a change of name official in India, a person needs to book a change of name advertisement.
Booking such an ad in a newspaper is a legal requirement to make a change of name official and formal. Merely submitting an affidavit is not enough. According to the law in India, for a person to officially change his or her name, the affidavit must be accompanied by an advertisement or a notification of the name change in at least two of the country’s newspapers. One newspaper must be in the English language and one must be a regional newspaper in the language of the respective state or Union Territory you are located in.
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