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This 101-year-old has voted in every Lok Sabha poll


In 1946, V Santhanam was a young man of 27, sharing a room in Bombay with 4 different bachelors. That yr, he voted in India’s provincial election, and the 101-year-old hasn’t stopped since— the Noida resident has voted in every single Indian common election, and hopes to take action so long as he can.
To him, not balloting was by no means an possibility. “It is my responsibility to select the people who will rule the country, and determine how good a leader is. At the top of the day, it's the individuals who make the party, not the party which makes the folks,” says the centenarian, who loves chanting sanskrit shlokas as much as he does a cold beer and a sport of playing cards.

His son-in-law R Rajagopalan says, “When my daughter asks him how he hasn’t transform cynical about balloting, he best says that the younger technology wishes to understand what it was to be a ghulam, what it means to be unbiased, and the ability of freedom of speech and a vote.”


In the 73 years he has been balloting, the key changes Santhanam has spotted are in campaigning and the position of cash in politics. “We didn’t even know what a rally was. In the preliminary days of independence, I would pass attend some election meetings in Bombay. People like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would be there and they might just ask us to vote for them,” he says. He remembers a time when politics was far more important than money, but as of late he feels the 2 are intertwined. “Any Tom, Dick and Harry desires to get elected, but they’re just looking to make again the cash they've misplaced campaigning,” he provides.


One of probably the most memorable elections he has seen have been the parliamentary elections of 1967 where Congress stalwart SK Patil was defeated by George Fernandes in a stunning turn of events. “Fernandes was the chief of the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) union. That came about as a result of folks actually wanted change, and believed he might be that vary. Patil misplaced the election, and it was quite a surprise on the time.”


Santhanam, a advertising and gross sales professional who has labored in quite a few industries through his 60-year profession together with car and metal, recalls an stumble upon with Fernandes once. “During BJP rule, he was minister of communications. The company I was running for in Bombay had carried out for a phone to be shifted from one place to any other in Pune. The application had been submitted for a yr, and I was advised to visit Fernandes with a packet of candies,” he says, giggling. So, he purchased 5-6 boxes of peda, and Fernandes’s secretary had a hearty giggle when Santhanam offered the candies. The phone was successfully transferred inside 15 days.




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