By Shreya Jha
Each year we tend to contemplate on the “good” and the “bad” which the year offered. And this year too we are not doing things any differently except for the fact that this year offered us enough events which sets it apart from the rest.
Here we look at some of the most eventful stories which turned our minds as well as our lives upside down in 2016.
1) THE PATHANKOT ATTACKS
The attacks carried out in the Pathankot Air Force station in Pakistan was a shock for most of us. Keeping in view the diplomatic talks which both the nations were furthering and the manner in which PM Modi had a very friendly and informal visit to Pakistan, we were sure that things will turn out to be better between the two countries. However we could not have been this wrong while assuming so. Soon after PM Modi visited Pakistan the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad carried on these attacks and more than 7 Indians died as a result of it. This led to suspension of diplomatic talks between the two countries thereby shattering our hopes of harmony and peace between the two nations as we grieved for the loss of valiant sons of our soil.
2) THE CABINET RESHUFFLE
After much debate and discussion, the Union Cabinet was shuffled, with the most head turning shuffle being of Smriti Irani, the former HRD minister who was demoted to Textile portfolio. Internet was flooded with memes and jokes while media and several news channels prominently flashed this news. The decision met with a mixed response as some of us considered her not “qualified enough” for the job. The decision was assumed to be because of her inability to handle the national outrage after the Rohith Vemula suicide, a dalit scholar who committed suicide after “some unavoidable circumstances”.
3) URI ATTACKS
For most of us who were still recovering from the tragic Pathankot attacks, the Uri attacks were another shocker. On the 18th of September 4 heavily armed terrorists barged into the Kashmir town of Uri and breached the heavy security. These attacks were the supposed consequence of killing of Burhan Wani, a militant leader of Kashmir who was popular among the youth. The Islamic militant group Jaish-e-mohammad was once again blamed for the attack. As an aftermath of this attack, there was postponement of SAARC Summit, “surgical strikes” against suspected militants in Pakistan administered Kashmir, ruling out of possibility of reviving bilateral ties with Pakistan by the Board of Cricket Control of India and the Pakistani serials including the popular channel “zindagi” getting banned in India.
4) WOMEN EMERGING WINNERS
2016 was perhaps a good year for women. It saw a number of positive developments against patriarchy and illogical practices. Some of them were as follows:
- Women were allowed to enter into the inner sanctum of shani shignapur temple.
- Women were allowed by the Haji Ali Dargah Management to enter into inner sanctum of Haji Ali.
- Women were allowed into the famous Sabarimala temple of Kerala.
- A resolution was passed in favour of triple talaq.
- Sportswomen like Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and PV Sindhu came to the forefront and got the much deserved accolades and acknowledgement.
.What however is important that India finally answered the long wails of women who remained distressed by illogical questionable practices.
Despite it being not a national event, it was an event which captured our mind and heart for an incredibly long period before giving us heartbreaking result. It was not one usual US presidential elections in which the republican and democrats slam each other. On the other hand it was a fight between a man and a woman. A xenophobic, greedy and outspoken businessman who probably stood at no chance of winning according to world media finally won the elections against a candidate who was supposedly more deserving and most importantly a “woman”. Undoubtedly Hillary Clinton would have become the first US Female President ever and we would have celebrated but India went for a shock when Trump won the elections. With Trump’s election and we await the consequences of what this new result will bring. Keeping the immense sentiment and global economy in mind the US presidential elections surely influenced us in a huge way.
Just when we thought that nothing worse can happen than the US Presidential elections, PM Modi announced that rupees 1000 and 500 will no longer be valid henceforth. Of course the common man greeted it with a huge step against corruption and black money. However, soon the matter turned out to be a not so “good news” with ATMs not working and no money in hand with most of the people. And although we welcomed the concept we condemned the process and wished there was a better alternative to all of this. The country is still awaiting the promise of a corruption-free India and hopes for a positive change as claimed by the prime minister and finance minister.
7) SUDDEN DEMISE OF “AMMA”
An amazing leader and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha died following a massive cardiac arrest on December 5,2016. Her death was a huge loss for the state and for the country at large. She was responsible for bringing reforms in the health and education system and for strengthening the economy of Tamil Nadu. According to reports released by AIADMK, more than 100 people died hearing the news of Jayalalitha’s demise. Her death surely brings Tamil Nadu to a threshold and an era of political instability.
Let’s hope 2017 gets better!
Happy New Year everyone!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.