India stands tall being the largest democracy in world and election is an integral part of every democratic system. The poll process in India has witnessed many significant changes in the last six decades. From ballot papers to Electronic Voting Machines and diametric changing in electioneering, the country has witnessed remarkable changes in polling process, but the ink which is used to mark the index finger of the left hand of a voter at the time of voting has remained unchanged. The ink which is used to spot a voter, who has already exercised his voting right, is special product of India and is used in many prominent democratic countries across the world like- South Africa, Britain, Canada, Nigeria, Denmark, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Singapore, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Turkey, Ghana, Cambodia and Magnolia. The ink is supplied to these countries as per their demand.

Paints and Varnish Limited which is located in Mysore city of Karnataka is the only manufacturer and distributer of this product. The company was established in 1937 as a joint venture of legendary engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the king of erstwhile Mysore state. The company was declared by the government of India as a public sector enterprise in 1947. The ink is being used for the poll purposes since general election in 1962. The specialty of the ink is that it remains indelible for at least a month if used once. It makes easier to spot a voter if he has exercised his voting right on the election day. This specialty of the marker is largely helpful in preventing the poll-rigging. The ink is produced by using acid and alcohol as the ingredients and excess of its use could prove to be fatal. Owing to its harmful effects, the Election Commission has issued strict instruction to the poll officials to destroy the remaining ink immediately after the voting is over.

The Election Commission of India struck a deal with Paints and Varnish Limited of Mysore in 1962 with the help of Union Law Ministry for the use of the ink for poll purposes. Ten Milligram of the ink is used to mark about 800 voters and this much of ink comes for Rs 100. It is said that the Quality Control Manager is the only officer in the company who is aware of the formula of making this product. After the retirement of a person from this post, he conveys the formula to his successor.