V Santhanam, a 101-year-old resident of Noida in Uttar Pradesh, first voted in the provincial elections of 1946.Think Change India
During every General or State Assembly Elections, we come across several posts on social media as well as TV commercials urging us to vote. There is a need to urge more people to cast their vote because not everyone is compelled to do so.
Since our first General Election in 1952, India recorded its highest voter turnout only in 2014, when 66.38 percent of voters cast their vote. This is a matter of concern since citizens want to be involved in electing who leads our country.
While many eligible voters are not moved to vote, 101-year-old V Santhanam, a resident of Sector 104, Noida in Uttar Pradesh, has voted in every Indian General Election since Independence.
When asked about his first vote during the 1946 provincial elections, Santhanam who then worked as a marketing professional, told Hindustan Times,
"The 1946 elections were for the legislative councils of the British Indian Provinces. Anyone who paid income tax could cast their vote, long before universal adult franchise."
His first vote was to Swatantra Party’s leader Minoo Masani in the provincial elections.
Santhanam believes that the present generation can make informed decisions about its leader because of all the information it has access to.
"It’s fine for people to have their opinions and want change, but it should be expressed by voting. The new generation is more aware and educated about what is happening around them and can discriminate between right and wrong. They should use this information to exercise their vote."
Like Santhanam, 100-year-old Nagnath Kale is also an active voter, having voted since India's first General Elections in 1952.
Nagnath said to LiveMint,
There used to be so much enthusiasm earlier. We always felt it’s our country, our elections. It is our duty to go and elect our candidate. I have not missed a single election till date.