Happy National Voters’ Day.
Today, I was remembering the man who reminded the entire nation that we have a Election Commission of India with a Chief Election Commissioner …. Mr. T. N. Seshan. A maverick who changed the Indian Election scene forever. Some people are truly rare and Mr. Seshan is definitely rare. The Model code of conduct that we just assume to have been in play always was unheard of before 1990 when Mr. Seshan took over as the CEC (Chief Election Commissioner). It was another thing that it was merely on paper, but never in use. This man walked into the CEC’s role and dusted so many of the laws that were under mountains of dust that several political parties and politicians are sneezing since then.
The voter ID card that we now grumble about (when the address is wrong or you have a new face) was first introduced in 1992 because this same man said no elections will be held if ID cards weren’t issued !!
I found this headline from 1994 –
“This election reminds me of the Emergency. Everything went off fine because the candidates were mortally scared.” – A top police official in Bangalore, after the first round of elections on November 26 to the Karnataka Assembly.
……. the link to this article by Javed Ansari in India Today is – Seshan factor: The unsparing rod.
I am reproducing a small graphic that is inserted in the same article which drives home the massive impact Mr. Seshan had as CEC.
Thou shalt not:
Have politicians found a way around these commandments ? Yes to some extent, but some of these are still in force. With the EVMs and hopefully someday a web-based voting system where you can vote from anywhere, these commandments would not be needed, but till then they have served our election process very well.
Mr. Seshan is an example of how ONE man can make a difference. His classmate E. Sreedharan is another example of the same ! I don’t think the new generation of voters know who to thank for the strong Election Commission of India that we have today and the whole election process being as stringent as it is – hence this post.
One of Mr. Seshan’s famous quotes is “I am like a ball. The more you kick me, the more I will bounce back.” … reminds you of someone else in today’s times ?? Hahahahaha.
Read more about Mr. Seshan here – T. N. Seshan.
Happy National Voters’ Day once again and don’t forget to thank Mr. Seshan.