My Father Changed His Surname To Save My Future In India

Story of a friend’s father who wants to remain unnamed-

It was the 1970s when my father used to attend school. He was in 6th or 7th standard.

The nation was newly formed (or divided) and the society was full of social evils. It was the time when education was a luxury but not a business. Luxury, because people were busy in earning, and not a business because it cost minimal.

He was a diligent and curious student. Whenever he used to approach a teacher with a math problem, he was shooed away by them. Not once, but always. As a kid of 12 years, he couldn’t reach the conclusion easily.

After many such incidents, he started observing that other students were not shooed away by the teacher. The teacher happily invited other students to clear their doubts and ask problems.

Why? Because he had a surname which was considered outcast. He was an SC, according to the Constitution of India.

This continued and 9th standard arrived. The time when you have to register yourself in the government record for the first time. He filled his name and added a “Singh” after that. So that he wouldn’t suffer in the future. So that his children wouldn’t suffer in the future.

And that is when the frowning upon listening his surname ended.

On asking whether he faced any similar experience like his father (now that almost half a decade has passed since that incident), he said

Once I joined a coaching institute, the teacher there said that it feels so good that everybody in this class belongs from Brahman or Kshatriya household. I smiled and nodded.


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