The biggest reality show of the biggest democracy begins today. Today is the first phase of Loksabha election 2009.
So, how has it been so far? Mostly bloody. Five states - among them Jharkhand and Chhatisgrh and Bihar- face Maoists attack. Eighteen deaths so far. Security personnel, election workers, one common man. But no leader or political person as such.
No Maoist has been arrested so far. On the contrary, in a polling booth some policemen were so scared that they all fled to a Border Security Force camp for their life. Yet another proof that the Maoists are a formidable force, and can take on the administration any time in a lot of areas in India.
No doubt there would be more paramilitary force in sensitive areas in next four phases of the election. Especially in West Bengal. In Lalgarh, an adivasi belt, there's already a face-off between the tribals and the Government. People over there, recently victims of police atrocities, have driven the police out of the area, and would not let them in even during the election. Maoists are backing them. Since the administration seems to teach them a lesson, it would take this election time to enter the area with the election commissioner's blessings. Ther's going to be another bloodbath as in Nandigram.