No pooja in the voting booth, please

It’s election season.

EVM machine

It is election season here in India – all of Parliament is up for re-election and the Congress-led government is hotly contested by the BJP.  India conducts its voting in phases, shifting security personnel and electronic voting machines from state to state and district to district over the course of two months. This phased approach provides security that has dramatically reduced the violence that used to occur, and the electronic voting machines have dramatically reduced the ballot-box-stuffing and other fraud that used to occur.

I was tickled by the following article in the newspaper this week, in which the election officials declared that candidates, when they come to vote, cannot perform a pooja (religious blessing) on the electronic voting machine (EVM). A pooja usually involves incense, a diya (small oil lamp), bells, chants, and colored powder used to mark the person or object being blessed.


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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