The popularity of independent India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi is unparalleled. So much so, that even Bollywood celebrities fade in comparison when it comes to exhorting voters to exercise their right to franchise. A 2014 YouTube video of Negi urging people to vote has been viewed nearly 2.9 million times till now and liked nearly 6000 times.
In March 2014, Google India had launched two inspiring videos on YouTube. One had the then nonagenarian Shyam Saran Negi asking the citizens of India to come out and vote, the other was a musical video Bollywood celebrities such as Amitabh Bachan, Diya Mirza, Arjun Rampal, and also cricketer Virender Sehwag among others.
Even as the country is once again in the grip of Lok Sabha elections, the Shyam Saran Negi video continues to be a big hit. The 2.34-minute video has made him a more popular figure, not only in HImachal Pradesh but the entire country.
Check the Shyam Saran Negi video here.
On the other hand, the 1.04 minute video featuring the celebrities has garnered a little more than 1 million views and 508 likes.
A retired teacher from a small hamlet in Kalpa sub-division of Kinnaur district, Negi, now 102 years old, is a strong believer of democracy and has never missed voting since 25 October, 1951 be it Lok Sabha or state assembly —elections.
The Negi video tells his story that reflects his sensitivity towards exercising the right to vote.
Shot in his picturesque native place, Negi urges people to vote to make a difference in the society as each vote counts.
Though he has gone frail and suffers from age-related health issues, he is all set to vote again on 19 May to celebrate the biggest festival of democracy.
“Nothing has ever stopped me from voting and this time too I will vote yet again. The young and old should come forward to vote as each vote counts,” he told The Statesman.