logo image Tracing the identity & history of the Indian Subcontinent via family archives

44 – An All India Heavyweight Wrestling and Weightlifting champion

My paternal grandfather, Manjerikandy Ramchandran, Cannanore, Kerala. 1927

Image and text contributed by Sheetal Sudhir, Mumbai

This picture of my grandfather Manjerikandy Ramchandran was taken when he was 16, just before he set sail for Dar-es-salaam for the first time. He came back to India 5 years later and won the All India Heavyweight Wrestling and Weightlifting championship beating several champions including the Sri Lankan heavyweight wrestling champion in 1937.

His son Sudhir Ramchandran is my father who was born in British Tanganyika and retains his British Citizenship until this day. My grandfather was also responsible for building gymnasiums in Cannanore (Kannur) and in Tanzania. There are several tales of how he used to be called to handle African robbers, who existed in plenty those days. His happiest life was in Dar-es-salaam.

After he retired in 1968, he moved back to Cannanore, India to build a house but passed away the same year of cancer. My dad believes that I have adopted his no-nonsense approach to life and loyalty to friends.

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Responses (2)

  1. Naina says:

    Oooh! Can I say Dadaji was a hottie!? The history of Indian labour sent across the world is so interesting. I have met many people over the years from both the Indies, Fiji, SA etc. and its fascinating to see how the culture has evolved, retaining many of the practices that have vanished in the motherland. Most are very successful.

  2. jitender says:

    Hello Sheetal,
    It was nice to see a photograph of my uncle M.Ramachandran. The good thing about his physique was that it was not Muscle bound.
    Jitender

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