Come elections, it is an experience to watch the largest democracy in the world undergo voting. The elections are a great sight for the number of people involved, the ballot boxes, their sealing, use of election ink to prevent duplicate voting, counting of votes and so on. However it is a less known fact that Mysore plays a vital role in the elections not only in India but up to about 25 countries!
The election inks – the indelible ink is produced by the Mysore paints and varnishes limited which was started as the Mysore Lac and Paints Limited in 1937 by the Maharaja of Mysore. For any elections happening in India, this is the only company which can produce the election ink! A single vial of about 5ml can be used for about 300 people and the ink would stay for about 15-20 days. The process involved in manufacturing the indelible ink is a very closely guarded secret even to this day, the semi-automatic process of mixing, filling, plugging, capping, labelling and packing is under strict supervision and tight security. According to the company, they do not sell it anywhere else in the Market and is restricted only for the elections alone in order to maintain its sanctity, dignity and significance.
The company’s first product was the sealing wax which is used in postal offices across the country and was used to secure ballot boxes. In fact, every evening after the factory shuts down, the guard seals the lock with this very wax. It is also claimed that the silver enamel used in the fences in Mysore comes from this company. The company’s recent notable projects include the lead free paints for the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi. Their latest venture, which took shape after five years of research, is glossy paint meant for luxury buses which will be supplied to the KSRTC, the Karnataka state transport to start with. So the next time you vote, think Mysore