Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | A veteran littérateur’s voting experiences

Parthasarathy exercised his franchise in Tiruchi in the first general election in 1952

Veteran Tamil literary figure and nonagenarian Indira Parthasarathy, who exercised his franchise in Tiruchi in the first general election in 1952, on Tuesday turned up at a polling booth at the Srinivasa Gandhi Nilayam in Alwarpet here to perform his democratic duty.

Mr. Parthasarathy began his teaching career at the National College in Tiruchi at the age of 22 in 1952, before joining Delhi University three years later to teach Tamil. Back then, he cast his vote for both the Parliament and the Assembly elections, which were held simultaneously. As he was posted as a polling officer, his votes were collected by a senior official. His posting was in a village near Lalgudi where “no rural woman would tell her husband’s name for identification. There were no voter identity cards. It was a funny experience!” he recalled.

Pointing out that he had never missed a Lok Sabha election, the winner of both the Sahitya and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award said even during his stint at Warsaw University in Poland (1981-86), he cast his vote at the Indian Embassy in Warsaw in 1984. He came back to Tamil Nadu in 1992 and since then, he has been a voter of the Thousand Lights Assembly constituency in Chennai.

As for his latest experience, he said he was accompanied by his son-in-law to cast his vote. “There wasn’t much of a crowd,” he added.

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