Arguably India’s oldest voter at 110 years, Satyabhama Das finds in Narendra Modi the strictness of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. And she won’t mind it if the country returns to the Emergency era to raise moral standards in Indian politics.
Das is one of Assam’s 9,421,977 voters expected to cast their vote in 11,994 polling stations across six Lok Sabha constituencies in the third and final phase on Thursday. Non-Congress parties (BJP three) had won all but one of these seats in 2009.
“In the past, I saw politicians keeping honesty above everything else. There has been a steady decline of moral standards and values in Indian politics. We need a strict leader like Indira Gandhi. If it means returning to Emergency days, so be it,” she said.
She added that she saw glimpses of Gandhi in Modi but insisted it did not reflect her political leanings.
Born in 1904 in undivided India’s Habiganj, now in Bangladesh, Das migrated to Guwahati in 1954 with her lawyer-husband Nikunja Bihari Das, who died in 1964. Das lives with her daughter Saraju Das, who retired in 1994 as the principal of a girls’ college in Guwahati.
“A strict disciplinarian, she has not had any major illness. She keeps herself updated on politics and sports through TV and newspapers, and she is keen on voting for the change India needs,” Saraju said.