India: Violence at the Polls

As the seven-day polling period began last week for India's fourth general election in its 20 years of independence, the average Indian made his foray to the polls either a festival or a fistfight. In countless villages, voting day became the occasion for fairs and native dances. But, as Indians in record numbers cast their ballots, there was also an ugly upsurge in violence, which had earlier marred the campaigning. From Kerala to Kashmir, hundreds were injured in scores of clashes between supporters of different parties. At least twelve died, including an 18-year-old girl who burned herself to death in...

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