Shyam Saran Negi

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Shyam Saran Negi, born on 1 July 1917 in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, is a retired schoolteacher who cast the first vote in the 1951 general election in India[1][2] — the nation's first election since the end of the British Raj in 1947 (although the majority of the election took place in February 1952, residents of Himachal Pradesh were given the chance to vote five months early because of the probability that heavy snowfall would make it impossible for citizens to reach the polling stations).[3] Negi has voted in every general election since 1951, and is believed to be India's oldest voter as well its first.[3] Shyam Saran Negi also made a special appearance in a Hindi film Sanam Re.[4]


In 2010, then-chief election commissioner Navin Chawla visited Negi's village to honour him as part of the Election Commission's diamond jubilee celebrations.[5]

In 2014, Google India produced a public service announcement in which Negi told of his participation in that first election, and reminded viewers of the importance of voting.[6]


  1. ^ "Independent India's first voter: 100 and ailing, keen to vote in 2019".
  2. ^ "India's first voter Shyam Saran Negi casts his vote at Kalpa".
  3. ^ a b India's first voter in Himachal Pradesh, by Gautam Dhmeer, in the Deccan Herald; published 30 October 2012; retrieved 7 April 2014
  4. ^ "India's first voter Shyam Saran Negi set for acting debut in Bollywood".
  5. ^ "Chawla meets independent India’s first voter - The Hindu". Retrieved 2014-04-05.
  6. ^ India's first voter beats Amitabh in virtual world, by Naresh K Thakur, in the Hindustan Times; published 26 March 2014; retrieved 7 April 2014

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