Inigo Irudayaraj

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Inigo Irudayaraj
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Born (1972-07-20) July 20, 1972 (age 49)
Tiruchirappalli
NationalityIndian
CitizenshipIndia
Alma mater
  • Madras University
  • vernacular (Tamil) medium school
OccupationSocial Movement Leader

Inigo Irudayaraj Stanislaus Inigo Irudayaraj born on 20 July 1972 known as Inigo, is a Social Movement Leader working to protect the rights of minorities in Republic of India, specifically at Tamil_Nadu State. He is the Founder and President of Christhuva Nallenna Iyakkam, roughly translated as Christian Goodwill Movement. He founded this organisation to bring all church denominations under one banner and consolidate the voice of Christians in Tamil Nadu. Inigo believes Christians in India need to be represented better in the processes of collective bargaining with changing political scenarios.

Early Life

Inigo was born into a Catholic Family in a second tier town Tiruchirappalli in Tamil_Nadu, India on 20 July 1972. His father, Stanislaus was a pious Catholic who also served as Catechist at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Tiruchirappalli and worked as non-teaching staff in Department of Physics at St Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli. Inigo’s inspiration to serve comes from early childhood life experience with his father and his dedication to serve the poor in the name of Christ. Inigo studied at vernacular (Tamil) medium school managed by the institution where his father worked. Later, he joined the same college to complete his under graduation course. Inigo Irudayaraj completed his post graduation in Social Work from Loyola College, Chennai under Madras University. With his father’s single income from class III job, in a family of six members, Inigo Irudayaraj did go through a lower middle class life in his child hood and adolescent ages. Inigo worked in ice cream parlor and garment tailoring shop to support his father in meeting education expenses since his 6th class and until under graduation. Inigo Irudayaraj credits his lessons on leadership to experiences at National Cadet Corps, a platform that Indian Armed Forces offers to the school and college students to learn about life at Armed Forces by experience. He had the opportunity to attend various camps and competitions especially the coveted Republic Day Camp which is a national level Inter Group Competition as Senior Under Officer. Inigo Irudayaraj is married to Dr. Felcy Rajam and has one son.

Early Career

After his Master’s degree in Social Work specialising in Personnel Management, Industrial Relations and Labour Welfare, Inigo Irudayaraj worked with corporates like Tube Investments at their Ambattur plant and then in Garment Industry. Besides making behaviour changes possible at the shop floor, he also contributed in methods engineering delivering throughput yield in the garment manufacturing process. Therefore, he quickly grew into the Factory Manager role that led him to founding a successful garments exports trading company.

Serial Entrepreneur

Inigo Irudayaraj confidently ventured into garments business initially executing job orders for large garment manufacturers. He later developed the business in to garments trading house. He has ventured into own brand garment business and also in to food industry trading commodities and processed food ingredients. His ventures provide around 3000 employment opportunities directly and indirectly.

Political Career

M. Karunanidhi, the longest tenured Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State is the political inspiration for Inigo Irudayaraj. Since his school days, he has never missed a public meeting that his political icon addressed. He has worked with the party cadres during elections. He has worked as booth committee member. Later he has worked closely with various state level leaders of the party in election campaign management.

Kaaviya Kalaignar 84

Inigo Irudayaraj produced a musical play titled Kavya Kalaignar 84 as a tribute to his political icon M Karunanidhi when he turned 84 years of age. This musical play compiled the life of M Karunanidhi who has served the state as Chief Minister for the longest period so far. The show was well appreciated by the party leaders and the leader. M. Karunanidhi appreciated Inigo Irudayaraj and started inviting him to meet often to discuss and assign various party related work.

Christhuva Nallenna Iyakkam

With his unrelenting desire to serve the poor in the name of Christ derived from his father Stanislaus and the political inspiration from iconic Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Inigo Irudayaraj initiated a movement that combines these two calling. In spite of being second largest religion in the state, Christians of Tamil Nadu did not have a voice in the political arena. The socio-political issues for all Indian Christians were complex due to three major social systems converge. The ever expanding denominations of christ followers, rigid hierarchical caste system and well defined and caste based affirmation programs converge to make socio-political issues for Indian Christians complex. The first and foremost of all is unifying the multiple denominations of Christianity under one banner with a limited purpose, to augment the voice of Christians. Christians of Tamil Nadu are not politically assertive. They have remained as service organisations. It is believed St. Thomas one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ built the St. Mary's Church, Thiruvithamcode, Kanyakumari district in 63 AD. During the colonial period a large number of Italian, British, Dutch and Portuguese Christians came to Tamil Nadu to serve the people. The institutions they developed remained as service organisations and never became socially and politically assertive. Inigo Irudayaraj saw the need to put this together. Hence he started Christhuva Nallenna Iyakkam in 2010.The movement has now grown into a state wide organisation that have members and leadership across 20 districts of Tamil Nadu State.

Christmas Celebrations

Christmas Celebrations organised by Christhuva Nallenna Iyakkam is an annual event when various welfare and livelihood support programs are delivered. The program is attended by religious leaders of various christian denominations. The leadership of Dravida_Munnetra_Kazhagam are invited. M Karunanidhi and M K Stalin have preceded over Christmas Celebrations organised so far. The movement is particular in bringing a political overtone to this otherwise religious celebration to bring in and make the christians of Tamil Nadu realize the need for consolidated political voice. During these Christmas Celebrations, he involves leaders from all denominations of christianity. Leaders from across and beyond the state participate in the program. Denominations like Roman Catholic, Church of South India, Assembly of God, Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, India Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Salvation Army, The Pentecostal Mission, Methodist Church in India partake in organizing and celebrating Christmas Celebrations. Head of Hindu Mutt, Muslim Leaders, Senior leaders from christianity like Cardinals, Moderators, Arch Bishops involve themselves in the celebrations.

Solidarity on Issues

  • Inigo Irudhayaraj leads the fight for religious rights in the state by protecting religious minorities from vandalism and organises various solidarity initiatives that protects religious rights.
  • Some of the programs he had led are protests to release Jesuit Priest Fr. Stan Samy, a tribal rights activist from Ranchi Province, Chhattisgargh, protecting Paaleswaram Old Age Home and defending St._Thomas_Cathedral_Basilica,_Chennai Church against vandalism by fringe fanatic groups.
  • Inigo organised for opening of Saint Theresa of Calcutta statue during the Cannonisation ceremony Besides leading from front to protect the right to have faith and belief on religion of choice.
  • Inigo had stood in solidarity on social issues through initiatives like protest against Citizenship_(Amendment)_Act,_2019 and National Register of Citizens.
  • Voicing the urgency to release Tamil Fishermen wrongly arrested and prosecuted by Sri Lankan government.
  • Joining the decades old struggle for fair distribution of water for delta region of perennial River Kaveri.

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