What’s More Important than the BJP or Congress? The EVM


What’s More Important than the BJP or Congress? The EVM

Illustration: Palak Bansal


s the world’s largest democracy, India’s political theatre has had some towering personalities. Many names come to mind – Nehru, Patel, Modi… and EVM. Since the turn of the millennium, the EVM has been a key figure for three Lok Sabha elections and countless local polls – a record of longevity politicians can only dream of. As Syed Suja, an Indian cyber expert seeking asylum in the US made sensational claims about the 2014 elections being rigged, the Electronic Voting Machine was back in the spotlight, making this a perfect time to take a closer look at the real MVP, or most valuable player of Indian politics.

First, let’s get to what the nation wants to know. Is the EVM corruptible? As Indians, we’re so jaded by MPs with FIRs that we doubt anything remotely connected to politics, even simple, sole-function machines. Ever since EVMs were introduced, the word “tampering” entered the common man’s lexicon. One such common man, Arvind Kejriwal, even turned his fears over tampering into full-on performance art, staging a demonstration of EVM-tampering in the Parliament (in the convenient absence of the Election Commission’s representatives). There are legitimate concerns about the EVMs malfunctioning: Even the Congress had raised issues over the Gujarat election, claiming that the EVMs used were liable to be tampered by hackers via Bluetooth and WiFi connections.