Marx and Lenin gather for Indian wedding with a communist twist

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From left: Marx joins the groom, Engels, the bride, Bismitha, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh for a group photo during the wedding in Athirappilly, Kerala (Viju Vazhakalla/AFP via Getty Images)
From left: Marx joins the groom, Engels, the bride, Bismitha, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh for a group photo during the wedding in Athirappilly, Kerala (Viju Vazhakalla/AFP via Getty Images)

A grand Communist reunion for Marx, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh took place in India’s southern Kerala state for the wedding of their friend and groom Friedrich Engels last weekend.

The catch, however, is that the four individuals were named after the famous political thinkers.

They are all members of the Communist party in Athirappilly town in Kerala, a state famous for its unwavering allegiance to the hammer and sickle.

While Engels and Lenin are brothers, their friends Marx and Ho Chi Minh are the sons of a local party activist, according to a report in local newspaper Mathrubhumi.

The four friends are politically active members of the Communist party in the state, except Mr Marx, who is reportedly a resident of Dubai and flew from there to attend the wedding.

“Of course, it is very rare to have all the giants in Communism come together in a single frame,” Mr Engels jokingly told The New Indian Express newspaper.

Athirapilly town and its panchayat, or village council, are known for being a dominant Communist bastion for a long time, according to Mr Engels.

India leaned more towards the Soviet Union during the cold war and Russian names are not uncommon, particularly in the south.

One such example is MK Stalin, who is currently the chief minister of Kerala’s neighbouring Tamil Nadu state. He was given the name by his father M Karunanidhi, after the Soviet dictator, barely a few days before he died in Russia.

Mr Karunanidhi was one of the state’s most prominent leaders, who had served as the chief minister before his death and was openly atheist.

In a similar incident in June this year, a man called “Socialism” married a woman called “Mamata Banerjee”, a namesake of the country’s secular leader from the eastern West Bengal state.

Ms Banerjee is a strong opponent of India’s right-leaning prime minister Narendra Modi, and is the chief minister of Bengal who heads the All India Trinamool Congress party.

This union took place in Tamil Nadu, in the presence of brothers named Communism, Leninism and Marxism.

Their father, A Mohan, a district secretary of the Communist Party of India, said he was waiting for a grandaughter who he would name “Cubaism”.

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