The Indian states of Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (MP), NCT of Delhi and Rajasthan are going for assembly polls tomorrow. Funnily, the MP Election commission has specified 16 ways to identify a voter. The list includes Ration card, Student ID card, The IT PAN card, Passprot, Driving license, Blue card for people below poverty line and so on, apart from the expected Voter Identity card.
This is the typical Indian irony that despite of the Election commission's emphasis on the Voter ID card since T.N.Seshan's time to ensure fair elections, very few states have seriously implemented the idea for its entire population. With 16 means of identity it can be very well judged how the electoral officers are going to ensure the “fairness” in the poll. Why can't we have a single ID number, a single means of identity for an indian citizen akin to the Social Security number in the US and european countries. A number that can be used to track a citizen for every job whether for health services, tax purposes, education or voting.
India boasts of progerss in the IT sector and e-governance. We have reached the age of saying ta-ta to the manual voting system with the entire election being held using voting machines. But when can we really see a single smart-card for every Indian citizen that prevents him and the administration from all hassles, remains to be seen.