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Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

Voting for India

NRI citizens have the right to vote, on paper. But in practice, the rules to cast a vote are so stringent that this right is illusory

There is no good reason for denying voting rights to one group of citizens and letting others enjoy that right. Non-resident Indian (NRI) citizens have the right to vote, on paper. But in practice, the rules to cast a vote are so stringent that this right is illusory. The chief impediment is the requirement of physical presence in a voting booth.

That may change soon. The Union cabinet is likely to consider proposals for e-voting and proxy voting for NRI citizens. There will certainly be challenges in ensuring that voting is free of manipulation and fraud. But these issues are much more amenable to a technical solution by which individual verification is easy.

These problems are insignificant compared with the huge number of troops that have to be moved around the country during elections to ensure sanctity of the polling process.If only for fairness and inclusion, NRIs should not be deprived of the right to vote.

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