An Indian engineer has claimed he has been rejected from 40 jobs because he shares a name with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Saddam Hussain (whose name is spelt slightly differently) has now gone to court to change his name to Sajid, but says he does not blame his grandfather for giving him the dictator’s name 25 years ago.

Despite graduating from Tamil Nadu’s Norrul Islam University, the marine engineer from Jamshedpur in Kharkhand has said shipping companies have turned him away because of his name.

“People are scared to hire me,” he told The Hindustan Times.

He said each of his former classmates who qualified as engineers in 2014 have found employment but his name was holding him back.

“I inquired with the HR departments of the companies and some of them told me my name was the problem,” he said.

He said they told him having a crew member with that name arouses suspicion and could complicate encounters with immigration officials.

Even after changing his name, Mr Hussain has struggled to find employment.

Although his passport, voter ID and driver licence now carry his new name, prospective employers have asked for his educational certificates which are in his old name.

Another court hearing is scheduled for early May to force authorities to change the name on his secondary school certificates. His graduation papers will then also need amending.

“I am an innocent victim of somebody else’s crimes,” he said.