Skip to main content

My voting rights......

A little known fact for non-resident Indians (who are still Indian citizens) is that they can't vote in Indian elections if they had stayed out of India more than 181 days in a year. Quite unfair because they have not relinquished their Indian citizenship but have been away from India for studies (in my case) or business or work (project). So, I have been denied my right to vote in the last three years!!

However, many countries allow citizens to cast their votes through postal ballot or through internet or keep voting booth in their respective embassies. A colleague of mine from Thailand had the option to vote in Thailand national elections held last month.

However, in the first week of May, I had the satisfaction of voting in local body elections in United Kingdom. Being a commonwealth citizen, I have the right to vote in UK elections. I rue the fact that I could not vote in general elections held last year.

Unlike in India, there was no local holiday nor there was huge crowd in the centre I went to vote. The polling station was kept open till 9 PM. I voted at around 6.30 PM. One of the surprise as I went to vote is the fact that I could vote for three candidates in a single ballot. Yes, I can mark 'X' three times in a single ballot, not three ballot papers. I asked the polling officer for reasons. He said there are three vacancies in the local body I am voting, so I could vote for three candidates. I could have voted only for one or two candidates.

So, I have to re-work my voting strategy!! Of the three major parties (Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats), I did not like one party but I like the other two in the ratio of 2:1!!. Therefore, I voted in the ratio of 2:1.

I think our election commission should look at the issue of voting rights for people like me. I could not think of any valid reason to deny my voting rights. I dont wish to give up Indian citizenship or take up dual citizenship. Given this, I think people like me should be given a right to vote.


Ramnath said…
A little known fact for non-resident Indians (who are still Indian citizens) is that they can't vote in Indian elections if they had stayed out of India more than 181 days in a year.

Prime minister Singh in the recent pravasi bharatiya divas promised that will change soon.
John Samuel said…
hey king
thanks for that info. i remember you writing a report about the same issue just before 2004 elections.

Popular posts from this blog

How can you support a publication you like

When I shifted to my half completed (more on this some other time) flat in Gurgaon in 2016, I couldn't locate newspaper distributors for four or five months. Suddenly, from consuming four or five newspapers, I was completely dependent on digital media. I was going less directly to the news source (say, or but was getting my news from Facebook and Twitter, and from apps like Flipboard.

It became an experiment, as I was consuming interesting stuff but I was not necessarily getting informed. People whom I have met once or twice, or have never met are influencing what I was consuming via Facebook. If you're wondering why you often see posts by your most popular friends, that's the way Facebook algorithms work, unless you specify who's feed should come first. If Facebook promotes post of your not-so-popular friends, why would you read!

I searched hard to find a newspaper distributor and found one finally, after four or five months. So now I subsc…

What if government schools and hospitals attract people with money

I had this random thought (and I get this often only when I have 1000 important things to finish!)- what if people who can afford private schools and hospitals find state-run schools and hospitals good enough for them. All of my friends in UK and US don't send their children to private schools (its another matter that location matters on quality of state-run schools there) and those in UK, don't spend money on healthcare.

Just imagine if this can happen in India. People will be left with more surplus that they can save more or spend on something else. School fees in major Indian cities can be as high as Rs 2 lakh per child per year. The sheer confidence that we don't have to spend on medical expenses and the state will take care will give confidence to spend more money.

The multiplier effect of this extra money in the hands of the people will hugely benefit the economy, and can spring creative enterprises.

This level of expenditure (even Rs50,000 per child per year) is si…

Being hopeless....

Three months back when my mom was visiting me, she experience heart palpitations for two consecutive nights. Worried I called my cardiologist friend who asked us to visit him in the government hospital on that day as it was a non-OPD (out patients day) duty for him. Apparently non-OPD days are less crowded. As we sat waiting, we saw many worried parents bringing their just born babies to treat serious heart problems. What struck me were the faces of these parents - a feeling of hopelessness. This was their last hope to treat their infants in a state-run hospital as they don't  have money to take them elsewhere.

Fortunately, the staff at this government hospital were treating patients sympathetically. I hoped the patients would have got the best of treatment available. In comparison, patients were treated as cattle herds at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India's premier hospital. To get an cardio OPD appointment, you will have stand in the line from 5 PM …