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H. M. Cassime

(1900 – 1986) – (Puducherry)

H. M. Cassime (Aged 86) was a Tamil-born businessman and politician who served as the mayor of Pondicherry from 15 September 1956 to 3 November 1961. Born in 1900, he was also known as Mouhamad Cassime or H. M. Kassim. During the French and Indian periods, Cassime actively participated in politics while running his business.

Along with thirteen other prominent politicians in French Pondicherry, H. M. Cassime sent telegrams to the French government advocating for the cession of Pondicherry and other French settlements in India to the Indian Union. They argued that the move was the right and logical choice, given the racial, geographical, historical, economic, and cultural ties between Pondicherry and the rest of the Indian Union.

This action gave impetus to the freedom movement in Pondicherry. Cassime was one of the 178 signatories of the Khizhoor Referendum held in 1954, which led to the cession of Pondicherry to India from the French.

After the de facto transfer of Pondicherry, Cassime continued to serve as the mayor of Pondicherry. From 1966 until his death in 1986, he was the president of the Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce) of Pondicherry.

(The thirteen persons along with H. M. Cassime were, Karunendhra Mudaliar, Balasubramanian, Deivasigamany, Ratnasababathy, Thanaraja, Emmanuel Tetta, Sinnatha Mudaliar, Arockianadin, Venkatasamy Reddiar, Ratnam Chettiar, Lakshminarayana Reddiar, Venkatabubba Reddiar and Thiyagaraja Nayakar.)