Ahamed Devarkovil: Jail at 16, cabinet berth at 61

Ahamed Devarkovil
Ahamed Devarkovil with wife Sabira, children Thansiha Sherin and Sheffi Monis.

Ahamed Devarkovil lost his father when he was just four. It forced him to sell peanuts and candies to find money for his studies. At 16, he was incarcerated for writing an article in the school magazine against the Emergency. The hurdles, however, could not fail him. He faced them with renewed vigour, holding his political convictions firmly.

While courting arrest, he was the school leader of the Government High School in Kuttiady in Kozhikode district and was the district secretary of the Muslim Students' Federation (MSF), the students' wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

On his release from prison, he joined Government Brennen High School, Thalassery, to write his Class 10 exams. He had to discontinue his undergraduate course midway due to financial constraints. He left for Bombay (now Mumbai) in search of livelihood. Still, he remained active in politics.

Along with managing a travel agency in Bombay, Devarkoil became active in public activities. He was the general secretary of Mumbai Muslim Jama'at; secretary of Malayali Samajam; and the secretary of Muslim League in Mumbai.

Devarkovil has been with the Indian National League (INL) ever since its formation in 1994 (The party was formed after the split in IUML). He became more active in politics after his return to Kozhikode, where he opened a branch of his travel agency.

He had held the posts of district general secretary and president of INL, state secretary and national secretary of the organization. Devarkovil, 61, is currently INL's national general secretary. Sabira is Devarkovil's wife. Thajuna Shervin, Thansiha Sherin and Sheffi Monis are their children.

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