Best Of 2018: Major National Events
Bhubaneswar: 2018 was one helluva year- full of major events and happenings that impacted the entire country. While some events like the Bhima Koregaon violence raised questions on the law and order situation prevailing in the country, there were others like the legalisation of passive Euthanasia which reinstilled the faith of a common man in the administrative efficiency.
As 2018 draws to a close, here is a look at some of the major events that took place in India this year.
- Bhima-Koregaon Violence
The New Year started with the Bhima Koregaon violence in Pune after two groups entered into stone pelting following an altercation on January 1. The incident took place when lakhs of people had gathered to commemorate the 200 years of victory of battle between Peshwas and soldiers of the East India Company. Post violence, dalits took to streets in several parts of Pune and Mumbai, affecting road and rail transport.
- Press Conference Of Former SC Judges
For the first time in the history of India, four former Supreme Court judges- J. Chemaleswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph held a press conference on January 12, to criticise Chief Justice Dipak Misra and the administration of the Supreme Court under him. This exposed the rift between the senior judges and the Chief Justice of India.
- SC Approves Passive Euthanasia
The Supreme Court of India on March 9 ruled that Individuals have the right to die with dignity. It allowed, with strict guidelines, passive euthanasia which implies halting or withdrawl of life support to terminally ill or those in incurable state.
- Unnao Rape Case
A girl tried to immolate herself outside UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s residence on April 8 due to police inaction. She alleged that BJP MLA KS Sengar, along with his associates had raped her and forced her to commit suicide. The matter escalated further when the girl’s father died in police custody. Sengar was later arrested by CBI following protests and outrage.
- Sterlite Protests
On May 22, during the 100th day of protest against Sterlite Copper unit at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, a police firing took place after a mob pelted stones at police. In the clashes, 13 people were killed. Finally on May 28, the Tamil Nadu Government issued an order to permanently close to plant due to public outrage.
- Urban Naxalism
In a joint operation on August 28, the Pune Police carried out raids across India and arrested 5 activists who allegedly adhered to Naxal ideology. The arrested persons included poet Varavara Rao, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj, civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, activist Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves. Investigators alleged that these people were plotting a conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later, a case of sedition was filed against them by Pune Police.
- Me Too Movement
The Me Too Movement started in late September when former Miss India and Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct on a film set in 2008. After this, multiple women came out and named their alleged perpetrators. Prominent names surfaced including Union Minister MJ Akbar, Actor Alok Nath, singer Abhijit Bhattacharya, Kailash Kher, commentator Suhel Seth, filmmaker Rajat Kapoor, writer Chetan Bhagat, comedian Gursimran Khamba and Utsav Chakraborty, and directors like Sajid Khan, Luv Ranjan, Vikas Bahl and Subhash Ghai.
- NRC Controversy
40.07 lakh people were excluded from Assam’s draft NRC which released on July 30. This sparked widespread fear of mass detentions and triggered a huge controversy. The NRC has been mandated to filter out illegal immigrants in Assam. It includes only those who can prove that they were in Assam before March 24, 1971, when millions had fled Bangladesh during the 1971 war
- Section 377 Striked Down
In a landmark judgement on September 6, the Supreme Court announced that private sexual acts between two consenting adults of the same or different gender or the transgender community will no more be a criminal offence. A five-judge bench striked down the draconian article 377 and recognised the sexual orientation of the LGBT community and decriminalised homosexuality.
- Sabarimala Temple Row
The historic temple of Lord Ayappa opened its doors to women of all ages for the first time after a SC verdict on September 28. This ended the century old ban on the entry of women aged 10-40. However, no women devotees have entered the temple due to violent protests by religious outifts.
- Statue Of Unity
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 inaugurated the 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel in Gujarat. The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue.
- Tigress Avni
Tigress Avni, alleged to be man-eater responsible for the death of 14 people over the last two years in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal was shot dead on November 2. The killing embarked a huge controversy over the genuineness of the killing of the tigress who had two cubs. Animal activists were angered and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi had accused her counterparts in Forest Ministry of sanctioning a ghastly murder for sport.
- Kartarpur Corridor
The foundation stone for Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib (Punjab, India) and Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur (Punjab, Pakistan) was laid on November 26 in India and two days later in Pakistan. The corridor will allow Sikh devotees to visit Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan without a visa. Furthermore, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Pakistan visit had also created a huge controversy.