Dawn of Democracy: From Seattle to Sriramapura | Bangalore News

BENGALURU: Seattle-based techie Suresh Babu has rejigged his travel plans to India this year to coincide with Friday’s Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka. Bengaluru may be notorious for its citizens who refuse to go out to vote, but Babu and his wife Sushma are determined to exercise their right to vote.

There are a total of around 3,200 overseas/NRI voters in Karnataka (as on March 16) and while political parties have been luring them with freebies and ticket discounts to get them back to vote, residents of Srirampura Babu and Sushma decide to fund their own trip for their election.

“This is our right, every vote counts,” Babu said when asked why he and Sushma decided to embark on a 12,000-kilometer journey just for two votes. “I lived in the United States for ten years, but I came back to vote. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have any standing or right to question governance.

Purushotham Gowda, a Singaporean IT consultant and one of the 18 NRI voters from Kolar, chose to work from home to ensure he cast his vote. “I planned my trip as soon as the election date was announced. By not voting, we give up a fundamental right. We are a democracy and if we are to hold politicians accountable, we must be responsible citizens.

Gowda’s wife Sunitha will vote from Bengaluru Central. “It’s heartening to see these well-educated independent candidates competing and talking about pressing issues. We move abroad for career prospects, but this is where we belong and will eventually come back. So we must do our part A force to stay connected, and voting is a key part of that,” Sunisha said.

Saraswati Narayan, an octogenarian from Basavanagudi, shuttles between India and Nashville, USA, to spend time with her grandchildren. She traveled to the United States in December for a five-month visit but cut it short after the March election date was announced.


“I travel abroad every year, but I try not to miss the opportunity to vote. Last year I also planned to return in time for the parliamentary elections,” she said.
Incidentally, Bengaluru South district has the highest number of NRI voters with 731 voters, while North Kannada has the least with only three.

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