CAA-NRC: Hindus uphold harmony, choose Muslim as village head

Chennai: Amid CAA chaos across the country, villagers in Tamilnadu’s Pudukottai district, has set an example of India’s motto of ‘university in diversity’.

Seriyalur Inam is a Village in Thiruvarankulam Block in Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu. The village which is dominated by Hindus, has elected a Muslim as panchayat president to express their solidarity with those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Mohammed Jiyavudeen, 45, secured 554 of the 1,360 votes polled in the village which has 60 Muslim votes. “Shankar, who was among the five contestants for the post, came close, receiving just 17 votes less than Jiyavudeen,” said K Rajagopal, a villager who supported Jiyavudeen’s candidature.

The mutharaiyar and vellalar communities have the biggest vote share, besides people from the scheduled castes (SC). Seriyalur Inam was among many panchayats in the state where president posts had been auctioned, said C Rajagopal, another villager. The post was auctioned for Rs 10 lakh.

“We were not in favour of auctioning the post as it would do no good to the local people,” he said. S V Kamarasu, a resident of the village, said that citing the auction one of the candidates even got a promise from each family head that they would vote for him.

“When the Union government is trying to create a divide among people of different religions by passing the CAA, we, the Hindus in the village, chose to elect a Muslim to keep our panchayat united and secular,” he said.

Jiyavudeen’s standing as a social worker in the village too helped to consolidate his prospects in the election.