Man walks across country to save democracy

Man walks across country to save democracy

Onkar Singh Dhillon, 41, who describes himself as a ‘common man’ has been on a mission to “save democracy”. To this end, he has undertaken a 6,500 km walkathon across the country. He aims to create public awareness against EVM machines.

He started his walk on August 18 from his hometown, Udham Singh Nagar, in Uttrakhand. From there, he made his way to UP, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka. He was in Bengaluru last week, as part of his journey.

He will be covering Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Bihar as part of the mission. The walk will culminate at Delhi. At present, he has covered approximately 3,000 kilometres. 

He is alone, accompanied only by a small trolley on which he carries his luggage. He hopes to finish the journey by the end of March.

“EVM machine has no physical involvement and allows room for tampering. They should be replaced with ballot papers. If we really need freedom, we need to be able to have full control over our votes,” says Dhillon.

While he agrees that there is room for corruption even if the country switches to the ballot paper, he says it is the best way forward. 

Along his way, he attempts to educate people about this work. “I don’t wish to disturb people, so I only talk to those who approach me. So far, I have received tremendous response from people, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan,” he says.  

People are worried about the state of affairs, and they are happy to listen to what he has to say, he adds. “I talk to anywhere between 40-50 people on a daily basis.” 

Communicating with people has not been a problem, he says. “People have been very welcoming. Many who don’t even know me have given me blessings; it has really made me happy,” he shares.