What contribution did Pakistan’s scientist make to India’s electoral process?


What contribution did Pakistan’s scientist make to India’s electoral process?

Dr Siddiqui’s invention of indelible ink has been cornerstone of electoral integrity in India for 73 years

The indelible ink invented by Pakistani scientist Dr Salim-ul-Zaman Siddiqui has been an integral part of India’s electoral process for 73 years.

Since the first general elections in 1951, this ink has been applied to voters’ fingers to prevent fraudulent practices, and its enduring mark has become a symbol of electoral integrity.

The story of the indelible ink began when Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), sent a formula containing silver chloride to Dr Siddiqui.

However, the ink mark faded quickly, prompting Dr Siddiqui to add silver bromide to the formula, creating an indelible mark that lasted for days.

Born in Uttar Pradesh in 1897, Dr. Siddiqui was a renowned chemical scientist who played a pivotal role in India’s electoral history. He later became the vice chancellor of Karachi University and laid the foundation for scientific institutions in Pakistan.

The indelible ink has been embraced by over 30 countries, including India, Pakistan, and many others, serving as a testament to its efficacy in safeguarding the sanctity of elections. 

Despite strained relations between India and Pakistan, the indelible ink remains an immutable feature of Indian elections, with its demand surging to over 6.25lacs vials in recent orders.

Gandhi’s grandson lauds Siddiqui’s contribution

Dr Siddiqui’s invention has been praised by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who advocates honouring the Pakistani scientist for his contribution to India’s democratic process.

Gopal Krishna Gandhi’s call to honour Dr Siddiqui’s contribution highlights the importance of acknowledging shared legacies amidst geopolitical tensions. As India navigates the complexities of modern governance, the indelible mark on its voters’ fingertips stands as a timeless tribute to the visionary contributions of Dr. Siddiqui.

As India prepares for its next electoral chapter, the indelible ink remains an indomitable symbol of electoral integrity, rooted in collaboration and scientific ingenuity.

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