This website is called lawsuitagainstuconn.com, but it is not about money. It is an account of racial harassment I experienced and this is my attempt to get the truth out about it. I have more to lose than to gain by exposing this story, but I feel I must write this. The harassment was terrible, but I made it through.

     Having done so I could go on and try to adjust to life after my experience as if it never happened. By coming forward this story will be known within my career path and outside as well, putting my chances at a career in peril. But, my hope is the truth of who I really am will be known and perhaps I can help keep something similar from happening to anyone else. That is my aim.

     My name is Sudhama Ranganathan. This website is devoted to what happened to me while I was working towards a degree at the University of Connecticut´s Landscape Architecture Department. While there, I went through some of the worst examples of racism in my life. I call this website "lawsuitagainstuconn.com," because my original intent was to get justice through the law system. At that time I planned to chronicle my fight on the web site, but I discovered I couldn´t afford a lawyer.

My options became limited to getting justice by going public with my story. Despite the new publicity this would mean for me I decided to push forward.

     There isn´t much online regarding discrimination at UCONN. A local civil rights attorney told me this is because UConn tends to settle out of court thereby erasing all traces of civil rights violations occurring on campus. Or they find other ways of sweeping things under the rug.

     UConn has substantial resources at it’s disposal including the threat of the State’s Attorney General defending them. If you´re poor and can´t afford a lawyer the idea of pursuing them in court can feel like a lose - lose situation. The purpose of this website is not to get revenge against those who committed the harassment against me, but to expose what happened so others might be aware of the possibility of it happening to them.

     Although I have graduated I still feel the pain from what I experienced at UConn. I hope by sharing my story someone reading this might be helped.

     My mother is White, Christian and from England. My father, who passed away when I was 15 years old, was Indian, Hindu and from India. I classify myself as bi-racial. In 1990 when I was a senior in high school I became involved in planning peaceful political protests with some college students at Wesleyan University.

     We made the unfortunate choice to commit an act of protest in the form of arson on a Wesleyan University building as part of those protests. Our intentions weren't to burn down the building, just cause damage or to vadalize as it were. That doesn't excuse it, but it was the plan and we took steps to make sure the area would be clear of people when we did it.

     These actions were not religiously motivated just political. The arson was an act of property destruction meant to prove a political point to a single person, not the institution as a whole, to get them to act. It was not an anti-American statement, just the misguided effort of American students to get equal treatment for American minorities. My own involvement was tangiential as I didn't plan the planning or much else. The leaders were two others who recruited me and had to convince me to join by working on me over and over and by going through my friends.

     This was an act of student protest not terror. It was no act of war. In fact it was specifically planned not to physically harm anyone. As many disagreements as I had at the time with the powers that be, I still believed America was my country and the best country in the world. Watering the tree of liberty with the blood was not something I believed in. In all reality I still don't.

     I looked into Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. None of them seemed to have the complete answer I was looking for. I didn´t even have a religious affiliation at that time.

     The summer following the arson, I was caught and later convicted as an adult. This, although, I was a minor at the time I commited the arson and had cooperated with the government. Nonetheless my crime was kept a matter of public record.

     I eventually put down the partying, applied for school and was accepted to the University of Connecticut. By that time I had I become a Zen Buddhist. It helped ground me and foster a positive outlook on life. Thus, by the time I entered UConn at the age of 31 I was ready to go forward with a career and a life.

     As relates to my harassment at UCONN one needs to understand, I was never a Muslim terrorist period. I was scared just like every other American on September 11, 2001. I was referred to as a Muslim terrorist at UConn to strike fear in the hearts of my fellow students and thus help spread the prejudices of certain professors.

     This was to isolate me by preying on racial fears and trying to connect what happened at Wesleyan University in 1990 to to the terrorist acts commited on 9/11. I want to see justice for what happened on 9/11 like all other Americans. I also see that in trying to turn my fellow classmates against me, by fomenting religious prejudices against Muslims, the professors at UConn responsible for the hostile environment displayed exactly what kind of people they are.

     No one from the government ever talked to me, called me or wrote me since I served the sentence for my conviction for any reason relating to terrorism extremism or anything of the like. Not once. No one from the school questioned me about my past involvement at Wesleyan University before my entering UConn. There was no reason for the professors in The Landscape Architecture Department at UConn to question me, and they never sat down with me to question me either.

     Of course, they could have just asked me if they were so concerned. They could have simply said my portfolio was not what they were looking for and turned down my application to their department. Instead, they invited me in and then took the law into their own hands. They decided to become judge and jury. When confronted they lied and hid.

     Some of what occurred I outline in the What Happened page. By writing about what happened to me and coming forward I wish to encourage anyone else who has been harassed or discriminated against to collect evidence and expose the law breakers for the criminals they are. I also wish to highlight the extent to which racial and other forms of intolerance still permeate the landscape of American society. Subtle methods of racism are employed in order to keep perpetrators from being caught.

     It is a form of cowardice and should not be tolerated any more than overt forms of discrimination, harassment, abuse, intolerance and racism. It must be exposed and eradicated.

     My only wish is to be able to sit down with the school and work this out to ensure it does not happen to anyone else. I have recieved letters questioning whether I am looking for a monetary settlement and here is a little clip as proof I am not.  I have even recieved a threatening phone call demanding I stop writing my story online or else. On May 20,, I was walking my dogs, with a family member out at a city park. I went back to my car and when I got there there was a green Chevy Blazer sitting there. A man was inside and he asked me if I knew Lee Godburn. I replied, "Yes" he said "We do too and if you don't take down that web site we're goiung to see how much you like Photoshop." This is the only website with a couple of clone versions as backups, but they are the same site. I don't know what he meant by Photoshop, but as I have no plans to take down my site, we'll soon find out.

Update: That was then, in 2012. Today Friday March 28, 2014 @ 5:51 AM I was walking my dogs close to Lyman's Orchard in Middlefield, Ct, a small town adjacent to mine. I walk my dogs early in the morning as they get up early and that's fine with me I like the peacefulness of that time of day. When we were getting back to our car an old looking, small to medium sized silver/ gray Toyota pickup with a very loud exhaust system pulled up and stopped on the road about a car's length from where we were parked. The driver had the interior light turned on and so he was visible to me. The older White man with glasses that was driving and the sole occupant of the truck rolled down the passenger side window and said, "hey there." This was a little familiar and so I just stopped and looked at him waiting for the rest but saying nothing. He said, "If you write about the Government program you've been in, past what you've already written, or try to tell people, we will use psychiatrists, the court system, the prison system and whatever else we have to, to discredit you and to shut you up. You got a taste of it on Wednesday."

He looked at me like he was waiting for a response, but I just kept looking patiently. Then he said, "You've been warned." And he drove off. he was referring to what occurred on Wednesday the 26th when I was woken up by my mother. She called the police on me an had them force me to go to the hospital under the lie that I had told her I was going to harm another person. I'm still wearing the hospital gown, not because I'm crazy, but to remind her of what she did to me and to remind myself of what my mother did to me. They released me after a short interview under some generic non-specific diagnosis choosing not to keep me under watch saying I was fine and obviously alert. We (me and the emergency room shrink and Dr. Castro who Italked with before that) never even talked about whether I was going to harm anyone or not. I have written some about this government program and will write more. Looks like more false trips to the emergency room and jail time for me. Guess I better start doing my push-ups and hitting the heavy bag. Until then expect more of the same plus new information and names.

     However, I have no ill will with regards to the school on the whole and support all the UCONN mens and womens sports teams and congratulations to the mens 2014 basketball team!!!! As a true alumni that beat the racism and won, nytime they win you win!!!! Feel free to go over what happened to me, and decide how you feel about it for yourself. You can find me on facebook.

                                                  First they ignore you,

                                                  then they laugh at you,

                                                  then they fight you,

                                                  then you win.

                                                 -Mohandas K. Gandhi





     

         

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