Editor's Pick

2011: An Year of Awakening, and Lots More


Ayush Prasad
with Inputs from Daijiworld Team

Dec 31: The year 2011 has been a very an ordinary year for me. Not much changed in my life, there were some achievements, some set-backs, some happiness and some sadness like every other year.  For most of you as well, some loved ones would have been born, some loved ones would have died, the sun continued to rise in the east and set in the west. But 2011 was quite special and its impact would be felt for several years ahead.

Numerologists assign a lot of value to 2011 AD, but it is just a number on the Georgian calendar. It was the year 1418 in Bengali calendar, or 2555 in Buddhist calendar or 5112-13 in Kali Yuga Calendar or 1432-33 in Islamic calendar. The United Nations designated the year as the International Year of Forests which was celebrated all year round in Karnataka with a massive forest scam in the Western Ghats. It was also the International Year of Chemistry. The Time magazine has said that the Protestor was the Person of the Year.


Regional

The coastal region became the hub of activities when the sacred name of Dharmasthala was dragged into politics, bringing both Yeddyurappa and his arch rival H D Kumaraswamy to its portals. The much-awaited 'challenge' of taking oath in front of the lord fizzled out, but the entire drama surrounding their visits exactly a month prior to Yeddyurappa's forced resignation gave Kannadigas some good entertainment.

Mangalore was in the news several times over the issue of drug abuse. A rave party was raided, while at other times, drug dealers were repeatedly caught.

A big step by the state government that brought relief to hundreds of Christian youth in Mangalore was the withdrawal of cases filed against them in 2008 church attacks. It was a hard-fought battle, and came as a good Christmas gift to many families in particular and to Mangalore in general.


Karnataka

2011 would be remembered in infamy in Karnataka politics. There had been 38 attempts to ouster Chief Minister B.S Yeddyurappa and he had faced 3 votes of no-confidence during 3.5 year long tenure. But upon being indicted in the Lokayukta Report on Illegal Mining he was finally forced to resign. He became the first former Karnataka CM to be sent to Judicial Custody (Jail) and spent 23 days before the High Court granted him bail.

D V Sadanada Gowda won the election in the BJP Legislative party by 7 votes beating Jagadish Shettar who secured the votes of 55 MLAs. Fear of horse-trading loomed large and MLAs were packed into buses and taken to resorts thus exposing the ugly side of Indian Democracy.

2011 was not a year that the state BJP would be proud of. Several of its ministers entered prison, with some like Katta Subramanya being granted bail, and many more inviting probes into their financial dealings. Mining baron and his brother-in-law Srinivas Reddy were arrested in a dramatic midnight raid by the CBI, and with their bail petition being rejected time and again, they will spend the New Year's day in Andhra jail.

The Director General of Police (DG-IGP) Karnataka, post was also in a lot of demand. It saw four incumbents this year, including one in-charge. Long elaborate battles were fought in the Central Administrative Tribunal and top officers were busier with legal battles with their colleagues than fighting criminals. The Anti-Naxal Force could not find any Naxals and ended up killing their own colleague. There has been no breakthrough in Bangalore Blasts of 2008 and IPL Stadium Blasts, but 6 accused have been found guilty in IISc Attack case of 2005.

Thanks to tabloid journalism and land-rules, there seems to be no fit candidate for the post of Karnataka Lokayukta, which has been lying vacant since the last five months. Governor H R Bharadwaj and the BJP President for Karnataka State, E S Eshwarappa indulged in several public spats. The mining report from the Lokayukta found over 700 officers guilty aiding illegal mining.


National

The NGO India against Corruption led by Social Activist Anna Hazare launched a campaign demanding a strong Lok-Pal Bill. For the first time in the history of Independent India, a democratically elected Government accepted a group of unelected activists as the representatives of the civil society. A committee of Cabinet Ministers and Civil Society activists was formed to deliberate on the Lok Pal Bill. This movement was telecast live and its impact was amplified. Two rounds of fasts later (the second one marred by diminishing public support) a Lok Pal Bill was introduced in the Parliament. Anna Hazare was compared to Mahatma Gandhi and debates also raged if the Parliament is supreme. India joined the wave of protests sweeping the world with this movement. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha after almost 10 hours of debate, but met a roadblock in Rajya Sabha, where parties simply refused to listen to each other.

Telengana region of the state of Andhra Pradesh has been persistent in its demand to be a separate state in the Indian Union. The economy was paralyzed due to blockages, protests and strike. There has been a strong under-current of sub-nationalism in India with several regions demanding statehood. This has weakened national integrity. People should realize that state is only an administrative unit and we are all one nation.

Mamata Banerjee, the street fighter from Kolkata became the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal successfully leading the alliance of her party of Trinamool Congress & Indian National Congress. She defeated the Communist Government, which had ruled the state winning successive elections from 1977 with a big majority. It reaffirmed the faith in electoral democracy which has space for all people with all ideologies.

But the faith in Indian Democracy was shaken by the repeated disruptions of Parliament. It shows the hard and polarised views of our representatives, who would not accommodate but impose their views on others. The Government was blamed to be in a policy paralysis with several important legislations being stuck.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) along with West Bengal Police (WBP) eliminated the public face and leader of Naxalism- Kishenji or Kotoeshwar Rao. It is expected to weaken the movement. Busy markets of Mumbai City and Delhi High Court were attacked by bomb blast from home-bread religious fundamentalists. The choice of targets shows that the terrorists feel a sense of legal and economic injustice for their religious communities. The internal security situation has improved in comparison to previous years. Jammu & Kashmir was peaceful and peace talks have begun with ULFA Chairman Aravind Rajkhowa.

The year rounded off not-so-happily with Cyclone Thane lashing the east coast, killing over 30 in Tamil Nadu.


International Affairs

South Sudan became the youngest nation in the world. The United States of America (USA) declared a formal end to their 8 year long Iraq War which led to 4000 American and a million Iraqi deaths. Israel and Palestine’s Hamas had one of their largest prisoner swaps in history.

India and Pakistan went back to the talking table with two interactions between the Prime Ministers, though no significant progress was made. India and Bangladesh resolved the 40 year old border demarcation dispute with exchange of enclaves. Bangladesh recognised the contribution of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in its formation by rewarding her with the country’s highest honour. Through the back-door channels, India has been successful in pushing for democratisation in Myanmar. India donated INR 22,500 Cr to African Countries as a development aid.

A Tunisian Shopkeeper immolated himself and it led to the Arab Spring or series of protests for democracy in the Arabia. These protests led to violent crackdown in Syria and Libya, but it did depose Cold War Military Dictators such as Mubarak and Gaddafi. Unlike earlier times of regime change, NATO played a role of felicitator by establishing No-Fly Zones and did not participate in the planning or the battles.  These protests have taken democracy to the most un-democratic regions of the world.

The Japanese Earthquake took the life of 15,480 people and 3,926 people remain missing. It led to a Tsunami alert for over 50 countries in the Pacific Ocean and led to spilling out of Radioactive Material. It led to protests due to safety fears in a similar next-to-coast Power Plant being constructed in a region in Tamil Nadu that had witnessed 2004 Tsunami.

In the oldest democracy, protests were held against the investors and fund managers at Wall Street and were known as Occupy Wall Street. It raged across USA and Europe. 


Economy

Apart from being a year of protests, it was also a year of debt. Debt forced hundreds of farmer suicides in India. The Union Government faces a fiscal deficit of 1 Lakh Crore due to subsidies. Due to a weak global economic situation, tax collections have been low, forcing the Government to borrow and be debt ridden.

USA had to raise the debt level and borrow more. Europe faced its worst debt crisis yet, where Portugal had to be bailed out with 78 billion Euros, later it was Greece and Italy. The Governments around the world are indebted but private companies hold on to Billions of Dollars in cash such as Apple Inc which holds US$ 78 Billion.

The Global Commodity prices are low and Foreign Institutionalised Investors (FII) are withdrawing their investments from the Indian Economy. The Balance of Trade gap has widened as exports of minerals have reduced and imports of oil has consistently increased. This has pushed down the value of the rupee. Inflation has consistently remained over 9% this year, with the Industrial Growth slowing down and even shrinking by 5.1% in a quarter, GDP is expected to have grown by less than 7% this year. With high interest rates and low available capital in the market, unemployment rate is expected to increase in the coming days. Ban on Mining in Karnataka has led to unemployment.

The reduced capital in the market and increased social sector expenditure from the Government is heralding India back to a Socialist Economic Structure again.

Indian Aviation sector is in shambles with all major airlines reporting losses. Micro Finance failed in Andhra Pradesh due to structural problems. But Financial Inclusion of rural areas have been a success with over 73,000 unbanked villages now having access to last mile retail banking services.

In the later part of the year, Government introduced a change in policy to increase the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in organized retail sector to 51%. It is expected to bring a much needed boost to Supply Chain Infrastructure in food procurement. Malnutrition levels have been lowest in history of India. 880 million Indians use personal telecommunication and over a 100million Indians use internet. Infrastructure for high speed broadband access is being developed by the private sector.

The 2G Scam exposed the nexus between policy makers and the corporate sector. It brought to light the new forms of corruption, where bribe is paid in shares or loans.


Sports

India successfully hosted and won the 10th Edition of the Cricket World Cup that featured 14 countries after a gap of 28 years. Most urban canters witnessed celebrations on the street, well into the night after India won the Semi Finals and the Finals. Karnataka Government allotted and then withdrew the allotment of housing plots in Bangalore. Cricket fatigue gripped the nation as cricket matches witnessed very meagre crowds. Virender Shewag scored 219 against West Indies at Indore. It is the highest individual score in a One Day International Match.

The Government displayed its policy paralysis by opposing a Sports Management Bill of the Sports Ministry to appease self interest of Cabinet Ministers who are also Presidents of Sports Federation. Investigations into the Commonwealth Games Scam 2010, kept its administrators in Jail for most of the year.

Excellence in sports has been made a category for Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Honour. Private companies in India, without much support from the Government successfully built a Formula One race track in NOIDA and hosted the first Indian Grandpre. Narayan Karthikeyan was the only Indian Driver to participate and Karun Chandok was a spare driver.


Culture

In the 5th Edition of the television game-show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, a computer operator from the state of Bihar won the maximum prize money of INR 5Cr. Belonging to an improvised background, he prove that education can help in vertical economic mobility.

Over 2 Billion people watched Live on Television and Internet the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It reaffirmed the old world charm with Royalty in a time when Republicanism was sweeping the world.

The media went gaga into an overdrive with the announcement Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan's pregnancy. Each and every bit of rumour was promptly reported, but went it came to the climax, the electronic media was reigned in with the imposition of several 'rules' in carrying out the news of Baby B's birth. The youngest Bachchan became a celebrity even before she opened her eyes for the first time.


Death

Osama bin-Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organisation responsible for the attack on September 11, 2001 in the USA, Embassy Bombings etc was killed in a post-midnight strike at his house in Abbotabad in Pakistan by US Navy SEAL 6. This attack violated the sovereignty of Pakistan and led to a deterioration of US-Pak relationship.  When US Drones killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on their Western Border Post, Pakistan asked US to vacate a US Airbase in its territory and stopped supplies for NATO Troops in Afghanistan.

The co-founder and Chairman of Apple Inc, the most valuable company in the world according to market capitalisation, Steve Jobs died at the age of 56 due to pancreatic cancer. He was considered an icon of modern technology. Dennis Ritchie, the creator of C Programming Language also died this year. C Programming language has created the computer technology world by felicitating complex software and inspiring other programming languages like C++ and Java.

Satya Sai, the second incarnation of Sai Baba, died at the age of 86 in Puthaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. He was revered as an incarnation of God and had built several educational institutions and water supply projects in parched Ananthpur District. Devotees thronged the temple town to get a glimpse of his body. After his death there have been controversy about the ownership and use of Gold and Cash that were found in his rooms.

Dev Anand, who symbolised the eternal romantic hero died at London at the age of 88 years. Shammi Kapoor died at the age of 79 and was known for his iconic looks of a rock star. The death of legendary ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh shocked many. Bhupen Hazarika also passed away shortly after him.

Anant Pai, the cartoonist and creator of Amar Chitra Khata, who introduced cartoons books to Indian Public and sold over 100 million books died this year. Renouned Indian Painter, Maqbool Fida Hussain passed away this year in London.

Tiger Pautaudi, the longest serving Indian Cricket Captain, who developed the spin bowling in the Indian team as a strong attack and was inspirational as he could play international cricket with one eye also died this year. Another sad death was that of Ayazuddin, son of former cricket captain Mohammed Azaharddin. He died after meeting with a bike accident and battling for his life for almost a week.

Venkataraman Radhakrishnan, a renowned astro physists from Karnataka, known for his expertise in Ultra Light Aircrafts passed away this year.


2012

Will this be the last Christmas or New Year that we would celebrate? Some people say doomsday is near and this is the last year of all our lives. The Meso-american Long Count Calendar used by Maya Civilization completes a great cycle of 144,000 days in the current cycle on 21st Dec 2012. Hence, as one cycle ends a new cycle would begin.

Elections to 5 states and especially that of Uttar Pradesh would be held early in the year. The electorate would decide the crucial mandate to Rahul Gandhi who has invested time and energy over the last few years. If the Congress Party loses, there would be a loss of personal credibility.

Summer Olympic Games would be held in London from July 27th to August 12th 2012. The Indian Gold Quest has invested a lot of resources in the training of Indian Athletes and it is expected to bear results. There is also a controversy over the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals in the game. There are demands from survivors of worst Industrial Disaster ever to withdraw Indian participation in the games.

Astrologers have written books to predict how your year would be. Every New Year comes with its own hopes and we make new resolutions. It is a change in the year and a chance to start afresh, with refreshed vigor and energy.  

 


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Comment on this article

  • Silvia, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 7 2012

    Who has the right to send any one to the Hell. Judge not others, for you will be judged for that. If they have gone through hell here in the world may be thats the end of their hell life. No one can say what it will be after one's death.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra, Udupi/New York, USA

    Fri, Jan 6 2012

    Bin Ladin was a traitor and let him go to hell. He was a coward and that is why he tried to destroy people and places cowardly.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Canada

    Mon, Jan 2 2012

    Bin laden go to hell. Yeddy please retire so that Karnataka will prevail peace from your corrupt leadership. Reddy relax in Jail and repent your sins so that when you out may you be a good human. Dev RIP. Rest war zone leaders inLybiea/Egypt dead or alive make your life hell for power struggle, religious extrmism, stealing peace from peace loving people in yur countries. Wish you Hppy New Year to all peace lovers of this earth. God Bless and peace be upon you of Jesus Christ. Amen.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 31 2011

    I wish all the daijiworld readers A Happy New Year 2012.
    Let us all say NO to CORRUPTION!
    Let us all fight for a Revised and Strong LOK PAL BILL!!
    Let us all say "UNITED WE STAND" and "DIVIDED WE FALL"!!!
    Jai Hind!!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • JRAO,

    Sat, Dec 31 2011

    ULTIMATELY YEAR 2011 IS THE HITLER,S RULE FOR INDIA & DEMO CRAZY BY ADAMENT LEADERS AT THE CENTRE IN CORRUPTION AND LOKPAL MATTERS AND GOVERNER THRU LOKAYUKTA AT THE STATE NEGELECTING PEOPLE POWER GETTING INVOLVED WITH DAY TO DAY AFFAIRS OF PEOPLE REPS.
    DEMORALISING THE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES TAKEN BY BJP IN THE LARGER INTEREST OF THE STATE.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Maria, Moodbidri

    Sat, Dec 31 2011

    Bin Ladin go to hell.World is much better without you.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

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