Recently, news broke about the headlines, which grabbed the attention of the readers. At the age of 105, Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter in independent India, passed away on Saturday in his hometown of Kinnaur. On November 2, he cast his ballot for the Himachal assembly for the 34th time.
The Election Commission also mourned Negi’s demise and called him a “man with exceptional faith in democracy”. “ECI mourns the demise of Shri Shyam Saran Negi. We are eternally grateful for his service to the nation. He inspired millions to vote, even before his demise, he voted for Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 through postal ballot on November 2, 2022,” the Election Commission further wrote on Twitter.
Who is Shyam Saran Negi?
When voting took place in Purvani, Ribba, Moarang, and Nesong over the course of ten days in 1951, Negi was a member of the polling crew. He still clearly recalls casting his first ballot in the Shonthong polling station. “Youth should come forward to participate in the democratic process as it is not only our right but also our duty to participate in the elections by exercising our franchise,” he had said after casting his postal vote on November 2.
Negi (106), who has always voted in person at a polling place and has never missed an election, has chosen to use the vote-from-home option due to poor health. On Tuesday, November 2, 2022, at 3 p.m., he voted from home. The Election Commission welcomed Negi as usual. Additionally, the Election Commission appointed Negi as its brand ambassador. Negi had turned down the EC's 12-D option, which enables voters 80 and older to cast ballots at home. He had promised to go to the polls on November 12 to exercise his right to vote.
When an election was held after Independence, he always went to the polls, therefore he returned the 12-D form to the state Election Department, claiming to be able to do so. As a result of Negi's choice, the Election Department had planned to give him a red carpet-welcome on Election Day, November 12. Negi was to be picked up from his home by the district election officer in order to "enjoy the great festival of democracy."
Moreover, Shyam Saran Negi also made a special appearance in the Hindi film Sanam Re.
He inspired millions of people and always says that elections should be celebrated as if it is like a religious festival as the country got freedom after a lot of struggles.
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