A village panchayat in Trichy, Tamilnadu has set a beautiful example of communal harmony for the whole country.
A Hindu majority village Seriyalur Inam, in the Pudukottai district of Tamilnadu, has elected a young Muslim man as their Panchayat head at times when the whole country is rocked over the citizenship amendment protests.
Mohammad Jiyavuddin, aged 45 years has become the President of the village Panchayat with 554 votes out of a total of 1360 votes. Shankar, the other candidate came close and lost to Jiyavuddin with just 17 votes. Interestingly, the village has only 60 Muslim voters.
People of the village said they chose Jiyavuddin because of the work he has done for the village and his religion did not matter for them.
Jyavuddin was working in the Gulf and had come to his village for holidays in 2018. On his return, he saw that the village was ravaged with Cyclone Gaja. The government efforts had not reached the village. It was then he decided to quit his job and stay in the village for rehabilitation work. He worked to rehabilitate the local members, organise food, shelter. He is also the founder of the Seriyalur Inam Youth Development Committee in the village to help create livelihood options for farmers devastated by the cyclone.
Many in the village feel that their village can be an example for the whole country when the central government is trying to divide people in the name of religion by passing laws like the citizenship amendment.
S V Kamarasu, a resident of the village, said “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,”.
Jiyavuddin said that it was very heartwarming when Hindu residents who were the head of the family came to him and said that they asked their family members to vote for him.
Jiyauddin said that his first duty as president of the village Panchayat will be to bring the Cauvery river water to the village Ayyankulam tank, with the help of the committee he has been striving to revive a kilometer long canal to bring the water.