The year 2016 has been a happening year with both positive and negative things making the headlines. We take a look of the 7 things that caught the nation’s attention.
1. Budget 2016
The Budget 2016 created much uproar amidst the salaried class with the controversial proposal by the Union Finance Minister to tax EPF withdrawl. After facing flak from the opposition parties and the people, the government later forced to withdraw the controversial proposal and also withdrew the proposal to limit tax-free contribution by the employer to the provident fund of the employee. Despite the government clarifying its intent for its decision, the criticism continued from all ends.
2. The Great Nationalism Debate
If last year, Indians started teaching each other to be tolerant, than this year it was about Nationalism. The debate started with some people objecting to the statement ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ while anti-national slogans were being shouted at the JNU Campus. The incidents lead to a horrific situation with student leaders being arrested and being charged under sedition. The mysterious death of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University, finally led to an change of guard in the HRD Ministry. However, the atrocities against Dalits and Muslims continued in several parts of the country.
3. The Health of Delhi
The national capital region has become a talking point among the world due to its disastrous levels of air quality along with the recurring disease outbreaks that haunts the public health authorities every year. This year, the day after Diwali was the worst in the history in terms of levels of pollution. It seemed the people of Delhi din’t care much about their children and the elderly people when they were engaging in the celebrations. Even, the authorities failed to do something to solve the problem and were waiting for the winds to blow the polluted air away. Chikungunya, yet again highlighted its presence after claiming many lives while the authorities continued to ignore civic apathy.
4. The Longest Curfew in Kashmir
Following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by the Indian Army in an encounter, the valley came to an absolute standstill for at least 70 days making it the longest running curfew in the history of the Kashmir unrest. Several people came out in the streets protesting against the killing and the armed forces had to resort to violent measures to distort the crowds. Pelting of stones by the children and youth on the armed forces was dealt by strong hands. The armed forces responded with pellet guns blinding thousands and sparking uproar in both the houses of the Indian Parliament.
5. RIO to JIO
The year was all about breaking the monotony. First started with Sakshi Malik, the PV Sindhu Storm rocked the nation during the RIO Olympics. Nobody else remembers when was the last time that the nation came together to watch a Badminton match. But, it was India’s daughter who was making the nation proud and there was no stopping people from supporting her. The support for sports persons continued as India’s para-Olympic team performed outstandingly at RIO. In another event, the India’s richest man took the telecom sector in a storm by launching its groundbreaking 4G services and letting the users use the services for free in the first 6 months.
6. The Law that Allows Child Labour
The new child labour law which was passed by the Parliament is progressive in nature, yet there are a few controversial elements that were highlighted by several activists. The Law allows children below the age of 14 years to work in family or family enterprises. The issue with this is that while drafting the law, the plight of the children was not considered, who after their school hours can help help their guardians or parents in work, instead of doing their homework or taking rest. The question isn’t it too much pressure on the children, will they have the stamina to go to school the next morning.
7. The Surgical Strike on Black Money
The biggest talking point of the nation came after the Prime Minister on November 8th announced that India’s two big currency notes, Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 will cease to be legal tender by midnight onwards. What followed was mayhem outside Banks and ATMs, massive debates in both the houses of Parliament, strong protests from opposition parties and deaths of innocent civilians. The most common sight was long queues and no cash available sign boards outside ATMs and Banks. The Prime Minister called it a surgical strike recalling Indian Army’s late night strike inside POK to eliminate terror launch pads. The country is yet to recover from the PM’s move and the public remains divided over the issue as of now.