This year’s New Year’s eve is unique, as we are bidding goodbye to a year along with a decade. We can definitely say that this decade was a rollercoaster ride for every other person. We faced two world’s largest-ever democratic elections and other assembly elections; a colossus leaps forward in our space programme, some unexpected reforms, landmark verdicts by Supreme Court and many more.
Let’s see some of the remarkable events that framed this decade.
BJP’s General election of 2014 and 2019:
The last decade was quite good for BJP. While the Congrees led UPA-2 government suffered back and back blows in the name of alleged corruption, scams–it paved the way for the BJP government led by Narendra Modi to come into power. The achievements of Modi during his three consecutive tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, made BJP choose him for fighting the election with the tagline “Abki bar, Modi sarkar” (This time, Modi’s government) caught the attention. His promises to Indian citizens like “achhe din” or better days and “sabka saath, sabka vikas” (For everyone, and development for all) was a ray of hope for people.
His strong presence helped BJP sweep the election of 2014 with 272 seats, and BJP became the first parliamentary majority by a single party since 1984.
Five years passed away though not smoothly, as many of the reforms brought by Modi led BJP government had to face backlashes–demonetization, The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, Goods and Services Tax and others. Still, the “Modi wave” was something people got caught in and when 2019 election approached the only question people had was Modi vs who?
The 2019 election result was announced in May, and the “Modi wave” became a “tsunami”, or as some called it “TsuNaMo”. It’s already been six months of Modi 2.0; however, the Modi wave seems to start falling apart due to some of the recent decisions. Now India needs to wait and see how the next four-and-a-half years would tun out for them.
GST – A notable reform since independence:
On July 1, 2017, at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world slept, India’s parliament launched the historic Goods and Services Tax or GST. It unified India as “one nation, one tax, one market”, dropping dozens of state taxes and duties and bringing goods and services with a standard tax slab across the nation. The main aim was to curb corruption and to make it easier for both domestic and foreign businesses. By launching the same Modi promised the country that in the long run, this reform would be beneficial.
Demonetization or Notes Ban:
On November 8, 2016, while addressing the nation, Narendra Modi announced that the 500 and 1,000-rupee currency notes were declared illegal tender, or in simpler words scrapped – of no value.
With the aim to “end-black money” government promised that they needn’t fear as all they had to do was to deposit whatever cash they had in their bank accounts by December 30, 2016. Till that date, people could only withdraw Rs 24,000 per week, including a maximum of Rs 2,500 from ATMs per day.
The government also announced that anyone who has undeclared wealth in the form of cash could pay the legit tax on it. While the government believes that demonetization is a huge success, many people and opposition think otherwise. However, if the election is an indicator for evaluating a government, then we are to believe that maybe opposition was wrong as the 2019 election Modi again came into power.
Indian Space Missions:
In September 2014 ISRO marked the history when India became the first country in the world to touch Mars in its first attempt. Not only was it a successful project, but it was also cost-effective, which made the whole world astounded.
With Mangalyaan in martian orbit, India was all ready for another world record a few years later – of launching over a hundred satellites on board a single rocket. In February 2017, the PSLV-C37 carrying 104 satellites was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Chandrayaan 2, India’s third moon mission underwent a setback on September 7 when lander Vikram lost communication with the ground station of ISRO. However, 2020 await much more markable steps by ISRO.
On December 16 2012, a physiotherapy student from Delhi along with her friend was travelling by bus, when six men heinously raped her. She died 13 days after the incident, leaving millions in shock. Following a worldwide outrage over the incident, four of the culprits were sentenced to death. Out of the six one was found hanging in his cell while other a minor spend three years in a juvenile home before he was let free.
Supreme Court has assured about the death punishment, but when it is yet to know. Nirbhaya’s parents still wait as the decade draws to a close.
India won the World Cup:
India became the first home nation to win a World Cup when they defeated Sri Lanka in the final at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Cricket fans were going through a mix emotion as it was Sachin Tendulkar’s final appearance in cricket, while MS Dhoni with his rocket six made the nation proud by winning the cup.
Surgical Strikes, Balakot, Doklam – Indian Army showed the power:
India defence made it clear to the world that it won’t stay silent if aggression initiated from the other side. There has been an enormous shift in India’s national security and defence policy. Some of the recent attacks are quoted below:
1. Surgical Strikes Across The LoC:
Back in 2016, India operated a surgical strick against the terror launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It was both a retaliation attack against the Pakistani terrorists on a military camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri 2016, as well as defence step taken based on intelligence report.
2. The Doklam Stand-off:
Between June and August 2017, India and China had a face-off for 73-day at Doklam near Sikkim border. In June, Chinese soldiers began constructing a new road illegally in the disputed tri-junction area between Bhutan, Sikkim and China which was stopped by Indian troops. Stand-off stopped only in August when both sides agreed to withdraw the army.
3. Balakot Airstrikes:
Balakot airstrike was carried out by India in the early morning hours of February 26, 2019. The Indian Air Force had attacked the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Balakot training camp deep inside Pakistani territory, using Mirage 2000 fighters armed with SPICE 2000 satellite-guided bombs.
Landmark Judgements By The Supreme Court:
India witnessed some of the remarkable verdicts in the past decade. Some of them are:
1. Sabarimala Verdict:
Women of all ages must be allowed to enter in Kerala’s famous Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court ordered in September 2018, ending a ban that barred women and girls between 10 and 50 years from entering the shrine that draws millions of pilgrims every year. “Restrictions can’t be treated as an essential religious practice,” the top court said in a majority four-one judgement, calling the custom “almost like untouchability”. A review petition was filed, in 2019 the apex court agreed to a hearing in which it said that a larger 7-judge bench would look into the matter.
2. Triple Talaq Verdict:
In August 2017, the country’s top court outlawed the controversial Islamic practise that enables men to leave their wives immediately by saying “talaq” (divorce) three times, calling the practice “unconstitutional”. It helped the Muslims women who were being suppressed for year a relief.
3. Verdict on Section 377:
Homosexuality is not a crime in India anymore, and it is not a mental disorder, five Supreme Court judges stated in September 2018 in an extraordinary leap for gay rights in the country and a rainbow moment in its history. The Supreme Court overruled it’s own 2013 ruling and partially struck down Section 377, a controversial British-era law that outlawed consensual gay sex. The ban is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary, the judges said.
Ram Lalla disputed Land:
The Supreme Court came up with a historic verdict on the century-old legal dispute over the Ram Lalla – Babri Masjid Ayodhya dispute land. The Supreme Court on November 2019, declared that the disputed land belongs solely to the deity Ram Lalla or it is Ram Janam-Bhoomi. The judgement received a lot of appreciation from around the world, and it was marked as a historic verdict. In December, the top court dismissed all petitions seeking review of its ruling.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Article 370 Scrapped:
On August 5 the Central government came up with a revolutionary verdict to scrap out the special status (Article 370) of the state of J&K. The state was divided into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
As the year, as well as the decade, ends, India citizens are now in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), nation-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). With a hope for better tomorrow as well as the year we step ahead into a new decade and year.