Can you imagine a place where anything connected to politics — parties, graffiti, posters, banners and campaigns are out of bounds? Yes, there is, Marudhanatham village at Amathur near Virudhunagar. With the fast-approaching Lok Sabha elections and poll watchdog — Election Commission of India — crowing from the rooftop to political parties not to violate in any form the code of conduct by influencing voters, Marudhanatham stands out among the rest.
The village has no room for political posters or flags or even campaigning. If any, they are relegated to the outskirts of the village, as people feel such poll-related propaganda would create a difference of opinion among them and affect their unity.
There are about 300 families belonging to different communities living in the village. For about 70 years, the villagers have not been allowing politics to enter their village as they feel it would affect their unity. To keep it intact, their ancestors had formed rules to be followed by the people — the rules specify there is no space for political posters, banners or flags. Even for family functions such as house-warming ceremonies, marriages or ear-piercing events, banners are not put up.
A resident and the correspondent of the government-aided school N Kasirajan says, “There are people belonging to different communities, but we treat each other as our own brothers.” He says the locals are free to support any political party but are not permitted to use flags in their cars, two-wheelers or set up flag poles.