Gopalsamy Ramaswamy

As Interviewed by Pallavi Gokul, April 3, 2018
"I was straight away, on the basis of my caste, denied admission."
Gopalsamy Ramaswamy

Introductory Profile: About Gopalsamy Ramaswamy

I am interviewing my grandfather Gopalsamy Ramaswamy. Throughout his life, he has been discriminated against for his caste. He was denied a better education in nuclear physics because of his caste. He was denied a better position at the bank due to his caste. However, he hasn’t let this stop him and has become successful and well-liked.

When Gopalsamy Ramaswamy was little, being a Brahmin was viewed as being an arrogant, self-obsessed, and rude person who looked down upon non-Brahmins. Even adults would discriminate and not let their children interact with him and his family. Sometimes teachers even failed him for his caste.

Once when he was in fifth grade a kid was taunting and teasing his sister about her caste. His sister retorted, and the other kid told on her to the teacher. She got hit with the ruler twenty times. That kid apologized, but the damage was done. Another time Gopalsamy Ramaswamy’s brother was playing outside his house with his neighbors, when a kid from his class started throwing pebbles at him. This was a normal game so his brother started throwing pebbles back, but the other kid picked up a big rock and threw it at his face. Several incidents like this have happened.

My grandfather has called for change many times, and a few times his actions have led to changes. It is inspiring how happy he is after facing all these obstacles throughout his life.