Skip to main content

Featured Post

The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

Elections 2014 - the complications in getting our fingers inked!

“I have an election ID card, but I can’t find my name on the voting list.”
“I have received two voting slips, one from my address before marriage, and the present one. Which do I use to vote?” 
“My husband has got his voting slip, and my name is on the electoral list. Why isn’t my name on your list?”

These were just a few of the questions I heard as I awaited my turn today, for exercising my right to vote.  By these standards, mine was an easy task, in spite of the fact that I had mislaid my election ID card!

However, I had some other questions, which I have been raising for a while now, and which, no one seems to have an answer for. Which is why, having successfully cast my vote, and unsuccessfully questioned everyone I could think of, I am finally posting this.

To begin with, my name has been on the electoral list of my present address for the past 11 years, that is, since my marriage. However, my name has still not been removed from my previous residence, in spite of multiple attempts to do so. Thus, my name appears twice, on the electoral lists of this city.

My husband’s name was misspelled, so, a number of years back, we applied for a name correction. The correction was done, but not on the original one, so his name appears twice, on the same list!

My sister in law has been married for over 7 years now, and we have changed her address on all documents, and even applied for her name to be removed from the voters list, but her name still appears here, and we duly get her voting slip too.

My father in law passed away almost a year back, and we have applied for his name to be removed, but it has not yet been done.

We thus received 6 voting slips this year, while there are just three eligible voters in the family. Which leads to a voter turnout of 50 % in just our house. Add to this the fact that my mother in law is not in town, and the voter turnout drops to 33%. Now, let me add my duplicate name in my previous residence. That reduces the figure further. 

This is the state in just one house in Mumbai. I have been hearing similar stories from friends and relatives, so this is evidently a widespread issue. With such a state of affairs, how exactly do we expect anything over 50% overall turnout?

The election commission has done a splendid job of digitising the records and making them available online. Unfortunately, the list is riddled with errors, and the names are so creatively misspelled, that it is not an easy matter to find our names. The list sorts out names by family, but that needs a common surname, which we south Indians don’t have. It also sorts the names by address, but the same addresses are spelled in so many different ways, that it doesn’t work either. How then do we find our names and ensure that we perform our duty?

It isnt enough to simply digitise the records, but we need to ensure that the records are correct. Plus, we also need people who actually know how to work with computers and understand what an online list means. Unfortunately, most of the election staff seem to be clueless. When I pointed out the duplicate names, one of them offered to make me a card for that too. “If having one card is good, having two cards is better, no?” was his logic.

Meanwhile, my son is mighty amused by the situation, and wants to know why he can’t vote, considering we have extra voting slips in the house! Of course, there is that little matter of age, but in this situation, I am beginning to wonder if there are any underage voters registered too! 


  1. It all boils down to lack of competency in implementation. Creating systems is not sufficient,ensuring that there are right people to do the job is also important. Who are doing these jobs, detailed volunteers from government offices, how keen and interested are these people to do a good job? Such jobs must be outsourced to professional companies on payment from the election funds. Only then can some cleaning up happen .

    1. I completely agree, Naveen! thats the only way the mess can be cleared. till then, there isnt really much hope for genuine 'high voter turnout' :(

  2. Hi Anu, totally agree with your concern. I think this issue is across all locations. Even with my family too.!!!

    1. Its so sad, Sagar, that while so many people's names havent been added to the list, or have even been removed, while so many dead people. and those who have asked for their names to be removed, are still on the same lists. i just hope they take note of this and rectify these problems.

  3. Lack of training of the election staff as is true for all government workers.
    Further election process is not given the first priority which it deserves.

  4. WOW! you have just opened another can of worms...and we thought that Mumbaikars were lazy to vote or would just run-away to celebrate a long weekend...but this makes sense and really affects the stats by a wide margin!


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

The Power of 8 - The Ashta Dikpalas and Ashta Vasus at Khajuraho

The four cardinal directions form the axis on which a temple is built, and are thus the basis of temple architecture. Leading from them are the eight directions, which are believed to be guarded by the eight guardians, or Ashta Dikpalas . In the temples of Khajuraho, great care has been taken by the sculptors to carve the Ashta Dikpalas on the walls, both inside and outside. They not only guard the temple, but also look over us as we circumambulate the shrine, protecting us by their presence. They are augmented by the Ashta Vasus , celestial beings which represent natural phenomena. Together, they enhance the idea of the temple as cosmos, enfolding within it, all the aspects of nature, both, on earth, as well in space.

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis