The year 2013 started with mourning for Nirbhaya, who died on 29.12.2012 sixteen days after being gang raped. The year had both high points for India as like Mars Orbiter Mission and low points like Uttarkhand landslide disaster.Team WI brings you some of the important flash points of 2013 concerning India.The list should not be considered a countdown.
Delhi gang rape – case involved a rape and murder that occurred on 16 December 2012 in Munrika,a neighborhood located in the South Delhi.The incident generated widespread national and international coverage and was widely condemned, both in India and abroad. Subsequently, public protests against the Government of India and the Government of Delhi for not providing adequate security for women took place throughout the country.May her soul rest in peace.
Hanging of Afzal Guru – 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, whose mercy plea was pending since 2006, was hanged to death at 8am on February 9, 2013.Indian government blocked 55 Facebook pages supporting Afzal. After hanging of him, security personnel kept vital installations in the North India on high alert.The hanging was not informed earlier to his family,which caused wide uproar in Kashmir.
Cease fire violations in Indo-Pakistan border – Both sides accused the other of border violations and killing. Nawaz Sharif after becomind PM reiterated his resolve to improve ties with New Delhi, saying ‘he sees his victory in the national elections as a mandate for peace with India’. Some even described it as the worst bout of fighting between the two sides in the last 10 years,Lets hope the best after fresh government comes after 2014 Lok sabha election.
Cyber Disputes Heat Up – Started in February, the U.S. computer security firm Mandiant released a report revealing the extensive hacking activities of a Shanghai-based group of hackers.Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was everywhere in 2013, with Time magazine giving him its runner-up spot in Person of the Year.He leaked files which stated U.S spied on India extensively and for a long time.Gujarat snoopgate issue also had its court judgement.
Communal riots – Beginning on 27 August 2013, clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities of the Muzaffarnagar have claimed 43 lives and injured 93.The attacks have been described as “the worst violence in UP in recent memory”.Tamil Nadu also witnessed an extremely tragic story of lovers being muddled with caste and killed. Many states witnessed at least minor communal clash.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) – It was launched into Earth orbit on 5 November by ISRO. If successful, ISRO would become the fourth space agency to reach Mars,The spacecraft is being currently monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu. ISRO deserves special accolades for making India proud in the world stage with its MoM.
Uttarakhand Disaster – The incessant rain that hit Uttarakhand from June 14 triggered flash floods and landslides, leading to thousands of deaths. Over 1,00,000 people have been evacuated so far from the affected areas. Helping people rebuild their lives is the biggest challenge for the whole country.Failure to warn in advance and rampant construction aggrieved the situation. IMD failed at Uttarkhand but warned in advance regarding cyclone Phailin which helped Andhra Pradesh and Odisha governments to evacuate safely and reduced casualty, and this alertness of IMD should be followed in future.
Lok Sabha elections 2014 – Some may wonder what is a 2014 event doing in 2013 list ? But the build-up and promotion which Congress and BJP perform has secured a spot in this list.Narendra Modi, a staunch proponent of Hinduvta has left no stone un turned in his advertisement, brand building and run-up to elections.Meanwhile Delhi assembly polls surprised everyone and after long time show cased the ‘power of a common man’ in electoral politics. India and Indians desperately yearn for a better change.Lets wait and see if that happens.
Red Terror – Some states as Tamil Nadu may never come to know the depth and extent of spread of Maoism-Naxalism and its day-to-day effect.Maoists have carried out two major attacks in recent times : attack on Congress convoy killing several senior leaders including former Union minister VC Shukla, attack on a train killing three people in Bihar.This year also world experienced terror strikes by various organisations at various places. In a separate note,people demonstration and protests also continued unabated throughout world against their government and its policies including our Telengana agitation.
Formation of Telangana – This 2013 would be the last year in the history of ‘united’ Andhra Pradesh State. The State is in the verge of a geographical separation.On 5 December 2013, cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill, if things go in the same way , Andhra Pradesh will get divided into two states (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) early next year, bringing an end to the history of a state that remained united for 58 years where as telangana will be the new 29th State.
Saga of Sachin – The ‘God of Cricket’ left International cricket. His fans gave him the most fitting farewell which any sporting star would love.His farewell speech moved everyone and will remain etched in everyone’s mind forever. He became the first sportsperson to be conferred the Bharat Ratna, also the youngest person. For sports lovers, 2013 will be remembered as the year India’s greatest sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar hung up his boots.Love you Sachin.
These are some of the major ups and downs faced by India at 2013 in different fields, hope this 2014 will bring lots of positive vibes in our country .
– M Renga Nathan
– M Renga Nathan