Furnishing Wrong Date of Births is a Norm: Even Jesus was not born on 25th December

On 25th December falls the date of births of many celebrities and bigwigs like those of Jesus Christ, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee etc. Let me share a fact that 25th December is the actual birthday of my wife also although her birthday in the school certificate falls in July. It may sound strange, but it is an almost undeniable fact that in India people, mostly who are above forty years, have got two birthdays. One is real or actual and the other one is given in the school or other records.

The birthday of Jesus Christ on 25th December itself is highly doubtful and there are enough materials available in the public domain which cast doubts on his birthday. As far as the birthday of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee is concerned, nobody can say it for certain they were born on 25th December. However, there cannot be any doubts about the birthdays of Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Indira Gandhi, and others because their birthdays were like gala events even when they were born.

Normally due to this reason I avoid congratulating anybody on his/ her birthday, which is celebrated as per school records. I have found that all students with me, with a few exceptions, were having two birthdays. The correct one was used for horoscope and marriage etc; and the school registered date of birth, which used to be less by one to two years than the actual date of birth depending upon the cleverness of their guardians.

There have been many court cases also about the disputed date of births, which have travelled up to the Supreme Court. The much talked about the case is of the wrong date of birth of General BK Singh. It came into limelight when he claimed that his date of birth in as per certificate was more than his actual date of birth. He wanted it to be rectified so that his retirement from the service could be extended by one more year. When it was asked that why his date of birth was given wrongly and, that too when his parents were also educated? Then he said that in those days nobody could appear in High School examination nobody before completing the 14 years and he was merely 13 years at that time. So, to save one year his father requested the Principal to increase his date of birth from 13 years to 14 years. Thereafter, he never cared to get it rectified. The Supreme Court, however, did not subscribe to his version as he had got many opportunities during his service period to get his date of birth corrected if at all it was wrong.

The lawyer appearing against him in the Supreme Court pointed out that he could not take the advantage of any wrong for two times. Once while appearing in the High School examination and again at the time of the retirement.

There have been dozens of cases where the dates of birth of many politicians are incorrect. Many MLAs and MPs furnish wrong dates while contesting the elections. As a result of it, they become MLAs And MPs, even when they have not completed 25 years of age, which is the constitutionally mandated age for contesting elections. Recently, the son of Mr Mohammad Azam Khan, an influential leader of Rampur, who was a minister for a long time in Uttar Pradesh, contested the election for the MLA in place of his father, who switched over to contest for the post of the MP. His adversaries got the smell of his fake age and then a petition was filed to unseat him. The High Court found that his age-affidavit was fake and therefore his election was declared void.

The case of the late Ram Vilas Paswan is also well-known. He became an MLA in Bihar when he was not even 25, although his certificate age was 23, yet he submitted a false affidavit claiming to be of 25 years.

Be that as may, one good thing that happened in the last four decades, particularly in cities, when the schools have started demanding for records from the municipalities about the birth of the children. This is still confined to the cities but in the rural areas, the manipulation is still going on unabated.