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Unfiltered

Blockchain Making Indian Elections Safe Again?

Where is India, What are elections for?

The nation is famous for its spicy food, Bollywood – its film industry, Sanskrit words like Guru, Karma, Kismet, Muslim-Sufi poetry and the origin of Kamasutra. But, there is more to it, like any country. India has its own fair share of Trumpiness in the shape of its Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rose to power after what seemed a very very unexpected election pivot.

India is the world’s biggest democracy in terms of population. While, the number of the voting populace is huge, whether the system is seriously democratic in its true essence or is it only a formal and matter-of-factly democracy is debatable.

But, the electoral process is both dramatically larger than life and very very disappointing. This however to your surprise is not because of a low voter turn out, despite India being a third-world developing country with pesky literacy rates and sparring GDP. It is because of mass discrimination and tweaking within the electoral process.

Like any democratic nation that follows a democratic due process election are a must to pick the ruler of the state. While ruler is a crude word and democracies that have rulers are genuinely pretexts for tyranny, nepotism, and corruption, the word fits here, in the case of the world’s fastest most growing IT nations and the hometown of beyond fortune 500 tycoons like Tata and Ambani.

Time for the next? Well, next doesn’t always mean new, and certainly not in a place where power buys more power.

Civilians Reaping what they Sow?

In such a scenario where the nation is exploding out to do more for it, to bring about the change it needs, to act and perform like a secular state, things like mediocre rulers really block out the good energy and drive in the evil curses of socioeconomic failures and political fiascos. While people are dying to be the forces of change and progress, they are actively ruled out and neutralized by the regressive and imposed policies of those who were perhaps, almost illegitimately elected.

Sadly enough, as we head into the conversation of whether Trump should be or will be impeached and whether such a decision is of the politicians or is it a legal matter requiring legal counsel, countries with unfortunate legal and political infrastructures, such as India itself struggle to prove that their rulers are corrupt and eating the nation like a plague and the citizens are stuck with what they have gotten through the efforts of their system.

The Indian people also face the largest urban-rural voter disenfranchisement each election, in the world.

Poverty and Bad Electoral Process, Indian Fate?

Turns out that the country India, which was formerly and more popularly known as ‘Hindustan’, meaning the land of Hindus, happens to hold the largest ethnic, caste, and religious diversity of people. And we all thought that America was the melting pot right? Well.

Within the community, however, the caste system is intense. That stuff kills people, call people untouchables and what not. And yes, in villages, disallows people to vote, well, if they are from the misfortuned and unchosen caste that is.

Women in villages, towns, and cities are highly discouraged, unallowed by their husbands, fathers, and town-men to vote. A great deal of the population is underage, some are over age, meaning they are undocumented and thus, unable to vote.

It is easy to hide behind such a system of oppression, yester-tech, and horrid cultural taboos, and norms that make every struggle for bringing the nation up to a more parallel world footing a far-fetched and unimaginable, unreachable dream an odyssey.

But, it is 2019. Things are way ahead of our times now, even we don’t know what our innovations will lead to doing, this is the world of artificial intelligence, blockchain and Google is no longer a search engine or phone maker, it is the world’s biggest advertising platform. Tech has taken over.

Blockchain can curtail voter disenfranchisement?

Existing voting systems leave plenty of room for suspicion: Voter impersonation is possible, votes are counted corruptly, fake votes are cast everywhere, road blockages and riots are other forms of racketeering that comes up. Some nations also sit-down for strikes days after the elections, and yet, safe and clearly true or honest elections never happened, nowhere at all.

So well, since we now have a solution to identity theft and a system to create and store secure digital identity, we now have the answer to our voting crises.

People can register and vote on the blockchain, a blockchain can hold enormous data of course, and then Instead of allowing the ex-government to become a validator, the committee organizing the election can designate a consortium of universities, nongovernmental organizations and such whose consensus determines what makes it onto the blockchain. There onwards things get a little automated and digitized, meaning that the votes can be counted automatically through the tech without the worry of someone picking and choosing.

This could be done from homes, and since India is heavy on smartphones, it could be no problem to get it to villages and ensure women, all elderly people and all castes cast their vote no matter what, safely and with a great deal of secrecy. Nobody will go to the bounds to find and fire people on the basis of who voted whom in the elections to employ violence or terror on them. No more Modi, maybe?!

Khunsha Javed

A Filmmaker, PR enthusiast & Editor of BlockPublisher-Unfiltered. I like things that make my brain tingle. Email: khunsha@blockpublisher.com or editor.unfiltered@blockpublisher.com

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