Anand, Jan 1: At least two pregnant women from Hadgud village in this district have pledged to name their child, if born a son, as Saddam Hussein after the deposed Iraqi President who was hanged.
Over 70 per cent of the people in Hadgud are Muslims. Iklas Banu is a teacher who already has a three-year-old girl whom she has named Saira Banu. This teacher, who has MA and B.Ed degrees to boast of, says she will surely name her second child as Saddam if it is a boy.
''It was wrong to hang Saddam Hussein. Had he been allowed to live in prison, he would have realised his follies and felt bad about his misdeeds some day,'' says Iklas. Saddam Hussein was not offered an opportunity to repent for his crimes, she says.
''Saddam Hussein was like a lion. That is why he refused to wear the black hood at the time of his execution,'' says Saida Banu, another Hadgud resident who too has resolved to name her yet-to-be-born son as Saddam.
Unlike the highly-educated Iklas, Saida, however, had to discontinue studies following the Vadodara riots in which her house too was burnt. Saida later married Ilyas and shifted to Hadgud. The couple has a five-year-old son Kabir and Saida has vouched that if her second child is also a son, she will name him as Saddam.
Saddam Hussein was a prisoner of war and his execution will not erase his memory from people's mind, says Saida. The woman, who could not study beyond the seventh standard, is aware of the opposition to the capital punishment by the US Human Rights body and says that there had been haste in ''murdering'' Saddam Hussein.
Interestingly during the 1991 Gulf War, over 40 women in Mahuda village in Kheda district had named their new-born sons as ''Saddam''.