India is in the midst of the world’s largest election. Staged voting began April 7th with 814.5 million eligible voters and will on May 14. Since India won her independence in 1947 the Congress party which is socialist in principle has ruled the majority of that time. That very well may change. From what I have read and according to people I have spoken with, the country is in a mood for change. These reasons are disillusionment with India’s direction, wide spread corruption, slowing economic growth, failing and lack of infrastructure, failing education and a lack of jobs. Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is conservative in principle apparently is poised to win.
Voting began in our state, Uttarakhand today. For a week now we have been hearing blaring mobile loud speakers roaming our village urging people to vote. Today all is quiet. The market and banks are closed here on this first day of voting. It seems the Indian military is on alert to quell any violence. We have seen a lot of military helicopters in the sky.