Year 2014 knocks at the door, bringing new hopes and aspirations.
As the clock strikes 12 today, Calendars would change giving way to new ones and the year 2013 would go down the history books. This passing year would leave behind some impregnable memories. 2013 was the year when the God of cricket, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, decided to hang his boots. This was the year when we last saw the greatest all-rounder of all times, Jacques Kallis, don his white jersey. This year also marked a new era for Indian Bollywood. Movies like Kai Po Che, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Satyagraha, The Luch Box and Sahiddared to take the untrodden path and proved that Indian audience still appreciates quality movies. India has taken a giant leap with its maiden spacecraft to Mars.
This year also witnessed some landmarks in policy making. National Food Security Bill was signed into law in September this year. Jan Lokpal bill finally caught the attention of our legislators. The bill was passed by both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on 17th and 18th of this month respectively. This year also witnessed Direct Cash Transfer scheme finally turning into reality. It appears to be a plausible antidote to sagging Public Distribution system of the country. Some heavy-weights were brought to book and likes of Sanjay Dutt and Lalu Prasad Yadav were sent behind bars. This year also witnessed the hanging of Afzal Guru,the mastermind behind the Parliament attack. Media was also vigilant this year and brought to table some sensitive issues. Whether it be Jan Lokpal Bill or a corruption case, media ensured that justice was neither delayed nor denied.
All this would have made a picture perfect ending of the year 2013. But corruption, communalism, violence, pity politics and natural hazards would also leave behind some indelible scars. While IPL spot fixing case marred the beauty of this gentleman’s game, justice eluded in the pending cases of 2G scam and Coalgate Scam. Some new irregularities in Railway Promotions and Agusta Westland Chopper deal came to light this year. Sharda Chit funds scam duped common man of their hard earned money. While entire state was reeling under drought, Karnataka legislators had audacity to plan a junket to South America on the tax payer’s money.
Indian economy went for a toss with rupee’s new found love for gravity. Rupee threatened to touch the 70 mark. Inflation continued to burn holes in the pockets of common man.
Uttarakhand floods ravaged the entire state. Buildings fell like house of cards. Plight and predicament of human, infrastructural and materialistic losses were nonpareil. While Indian Army did a commendable job in search and rescue operation, entire incident exposed our pathetic disaster management. State government appeared oblivion of the fact that buildings were constructed in the restricted zone near the bank of Ganga. Moreover, had it been more vigilant, casualties could have been minimized.
2013 would also be remembered for some brave moves made by Indian Judiciary and Media. Judiciary pulled up government for interfering with CBI, following which the law minister, Ashwini Kumar, had to resign. Supreme Court also helped curb criminalization of politics by disqualifying convicted MPs and MLAs from contesting elections. But the recent ruling of apex court in regards to article 377 terming homosexuality as unnatural and inhuman undoubtedly pushed us centuries back.
Following the gruesome rape case of Nirbhaya in December last year, anti-rape laws where made more stringent. The Criminal Law(Amendment) Act 2013added claws to laws related to sexual offense. But the justice still eludes in the Nirbhaya case. The loophole in Juvenile rule is still a serious threat to the legitimacy of this law. Moreover, act of sexual offense and exploitation at workplace still remains a commonplace. Likes of Tarun Tejpal (editor-in-chief of Tehlka) mock at our judiciary and get a long rope to defend themselves. It was only after media escalated the issue that he was arrested.
Muzaffarnagar riots would remain a blot on the face humanity. The clash between Hindu and Muslim community claimed dozens of lives. Four months have passed but the tension and insecurity remains intact. State government has failed miserably in relocating the victims. What pains the most is that political parties still have the audacity to gain political mileage over human misery.
Our relations with Pakistan hit an all-time low, with the neighboring country violating the cease-fire every now and then. Even the codes of humanity were violated with Indian Soldier beheaded and his head taken away and I sincerely felt that our country could have taken a stronger stand. The guts displayed by India in Devyani Khobragade issue can be a face saver for the country.
As the 2013 approaches its tail end. It provides us a new hope. The emergence of Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi State Elections and debacle of Congress signals that the rules of the game have changed. It gives us a hope that politics can still be won by clean money; that money, muscle power and communalism can be uprooted. It restores one’s faith in democratic setup and the power of common man.
The year 2014 would unfold how effectively AAP government delivers to its manifesto promises. They have already announced free water and should be working on reducing power tariffs. Delhi government is expected to have a bandwagon effect in other states putting an end to VIP culture and extravagance by the governments. Turn-out in all the recent elections show a positive trend and greater participation of public. Economy appears stabilized with rupee resting at around 60 mark. Politicians have suddenly shunned moral bankruptcy and are quick to respond. Bureaucrats like Ashok Khemka and Durga Shakti have set new standards for propriety and selfless service. With changing political climate, many such stalwarts should come up and strengthen our democracy.
So the year 2013 was a mixed bag for us. We gained new heights. We stooped to new lows as well. We need to carry forward the positives and shed all the negatives. As we enter the year 2014, let corruption be replaced by honesty, hopelessness by hope, anarchy by law and order, wars by peace, communalism by secularism and apathy by empathy.
Wishing you all a happy new year!!!
PS: My New Year resolution is to talk to you more frequently, What’s your resolution 2014??
Its NOW or NEVER!!