Everything you need to know about India's indelible election ink

The election ink also known as voter's ink, is owned by the royal family of Mysore produced under the name of Mysore Paints and Varnishes Ltd (MPVL). Dating back to where it started, the first election in India began in 1951-52, the election commission of India was dealing with serious cases of identity theft.

Everything you need to know about India's indelible election ink Everything you need to know about India's indelible election ink Source : Press

India is heading towards 17th Loksabha elections, it will be a common sight to spot voters, donning a broad smile and flashing their index finger marked with election ink.

The mark of indigo coloured indelible ink means the person has voted their respective choice of party. It also ensures that the voter does not come to vote again. It avoids any chance of identity theft doing rounds. 

Election Ink

The election ink also known as voter's ink, is owned by the royal family of Mysore produced under the name of Mysore Paints and Varnishes Ltd (MPVL). The public sector company was established by Mysore king Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1937.

Ever since 1962, Election Commission Of India is purchasing voter's ink from MPVL. The indelible ink is used in every Assembly, local bypolls and Lok Sabha elections.

Dating back to where it started, the first election in India began in 1951-52, the election commission of India was dealing with serious cases of identity theft. 

First election

To stop people from casting their vote again the election commission sought the help of National Physical Laboratory of India (NPL) urging to make formulate a unique ink that wouldn't come of easily. Ensuring that the elections could carry out fairly without any misconduct happening.

Right from its first use in third General elections of 1962, the election ink has almost completely stopped any misconduct happening during the voting period.

Apart from India, MPVL exports the ink to 28 countries including Malaysia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Pakistan, Turkey and many others.

The ink is so costly that 10 ml vial costs close to Rs 142 and the amount is sufficient to mark the fingers of about 500 voters. Once the person casts vote, it takes around a month for the ink to fade away.

indelible ink

The exact formula of the ink is still unknown however the electoral ink contains silver nitrate which in contact with the indoor or outdoor light gets darkened, leaving an indelible mark.

In a diverse country like India, the election ink is worn with pride by voters of different caste, creed, gender and section. In a country where people sport distinct sectarian badge in the form of jewellery, religious symbols and clothes, the ink is an only feature that binds us all together.


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