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Updated: April 25, 2014 02:10 IST

Keeping alive freedom’s legacy

 Asha Sridhar
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104-year-old K.R. Naidu stepped out of his house after nearly four months to vote — Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
The Hindu 104-year-old K.R. Naidu stepped out of his house after nearly four months to vote — Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

On Thursday, 104-year-old K.R. Naidu stepped out of his house after nearly four months. Dressed in a crisp cream veshti and a kurta, he walked resolutely to elect the next government at the Centre.

Like other senior citizens well above ninety years and part of a generation that was witness to the country’s freedom movement, he could not leave it to chance.“As a citizen, I must vote,” said Mr. Naidu, who has been voting since the first elections.

When Pattumani Subramaniyam (91), a resident of SSM Residency, a senior-citizen home at Perungalathur decided to vote, she said that some questioned why she still wanted to vote.

“I didn’t want to waste my vote. I took some fruits and biscuits assuming it would take time, but we were back very soon,” she said.

“I voted in the elections because it is my political duty. I want a good representative to be elected from Tamil Nadu,” said T. Neelakantan, who is 101 years old, adding that he makes it a point to vote in every election.

T.N. Sukumar, his son, said that even now, his father keenly follows happenings around the country.

“He reads the newspaper every day. Yesterday, he asked me to take him to vote in the afternoon when the booths would not be crowded,” he said.

97-year old S. Parthasarathy, who voted in Triplicane, recalls that he got his finger inked for the first time in Delhi, during the first elections after independence.

“It was like a carry-over of the independence movement. People were devoted to the cause of nation-building.”

Ninety-four year old A. Krishnan, who voted in T. Nagar, said the factors he considers while choosing a candidate are that they must be corruption-free, able to control price rise and maintain law and order.

“It did not take us much time on Thursday because we didn’t have to stand in a queue at the polling booth,” said K. Rajalakshmi, his wife.

(With inputs from Serena Josephine M.)

Keywords: 2014 LS polls

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