A voter is a voter only if he/she casts vote. And to prove that the person has exercised his right he has to show his left hand index finger marked with indelible ink or voting ink. It is a proud moment to show that 'I have voted'.
This special ink is being manufactured by a Karnataka Government owned company Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL). This is the only company in the country which is authorized by the Election commission of India to provide the ink, also called Voter's Ink, during all the Parliamentary, Assembly and Civic Bodies' polls.
Ever since India gained independence in 1947 the company has provided the ink during all the General Elections in this democratic country. The ink has tested more Six thousand million voters over the last seven decades. The company was established in 1937 by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the then Maharaja of Mysore.
It is not an ordinary ink. It cannot be removed by any chemical or any other thing. Once it is applied on the finger, it remains there for some months and clears off only when new skin cells grow. Managing Director of the company, Hemant Kumar told this correspondent that the ink is environment friendly and is biologically safe. For the present ongoing Lok Sabha polls the company has manufactured 21,000 litres of ink.
Apart from domestic use the Ink has also been tried and used successfully on more than 400 million (Four hundred million) persons over 60 years in the overseas market also. The company is exporting the ink to 28 countries including UK, Canada, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South African countries etc.
<>By Rajesh C. Bali, Correspondent, AIR-Jalandhar