16 January, 2021

The Gypsy Voters Of Democrazy

Thousands travel great distances to vote as there is no other way to exercise this right

Azad Ahmad and his family get ready in Noida
Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
The Gypsy Voters Of Democrazy
outlookindia.com
2019-04-16T14:46:36+05:30

She is bustling about in her hostel room, anxiously doing the last-minute checks—setting her wet slippers against the wooden chair, brushing her shoes, pulling the floral bed sheet to a neat, wrinkle-free spread, switching off the fan, and revisiting her handbag for the phone, charger and wallet. Rimpi Borah, 28, is almost done, but for a sprig of perfume, her summery favourite. She moves towards the door with the keys and rechecks the PNR of her flight to Guwahati. Well, she has always been meticulous but never this skittish. Pardon her. This young woman is headed home—Golaghat, Assam—to participate in the mahakumbh of democracy. She is travelling 2,200 km to vote on April 11.

Ask this PhD student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, why she is making all the effort and she responds, “Why not?” She thinks it was a serious mistake to not have voted in the 2014 general elections. “I foolishly thought a different...

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