The starting of the New Year brought along with it unforeseen violence at the JNU Delhi campus. On January 5, armed goons with their faces covered entered the campus and attacked students inside its Sabarmati hostel. The conflicts arrived between JNU and ABVP student unions and it was followed by a 3 hour long outrage and a case filed against them. For those who don’t know, JNU ranks amongst the top 3 institutes in India and also the alma mater of our finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
The nation will always remember February 2020 as the month where they had to face challenges regarding their identities. The CAA-NRC-NPR fiasco led every human in India into a questionable identity. People feared to have been thrown out of India if their identities did not match. Muslims fear they would be caught under the diligent law. And lakhs and crores of people started opposing it with a protest in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. Later when the pandemic set in, they were forced to dismantle the protest ground by army officers.
While all the other months brought along some or other end of bad news with it, the month of March was the month of victory and joy. Though delayed victory but the decision to hang the rapists of Nirbhaya came later in in the month of March. The four rapists were hanged to death on March 20 after the Supreme Court and the president rejected their mercy pleas. The nation moaned Nirbhaya’s rape and death like their personal tragedy and thus, people’s joy knew no bounds when this decision came after 8 years.
This is the month when for the first time people experienced how it felt being at home, locked, without being able to go out even in necessities. The first lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic was imposed by the government on March 25 that followed for the entire month of April. Only healthcare professionals and frontline workers were allowed to step out of the house, that too only for duty purposes. Total close down of public transport systems and offices, schools, colleges came into action that continued till the month of June-July.
After the lockdown was declared without any former notice by the government, it became tough for people living outside their hometown to get back to their homes. People didn’t have money to survive on their worksite, they did not have close ones to stay by them in the tough times and the situation kept worsening as more people started to lose jobs and found themselves in financial crisis. This led to many workers coming back home all by walking. Thousands and lakhs of the laborers set off to get back home by walking, due to which many of them lost lives as well. The situation turned worse when almost 16 migrants were killed on the railway track that they were using to get back home after being hit by a goods train.
The origin of the coronavirus from China that shook the global dynamics was still not enough to send Indians into a jiffy when Indo-Chinese violence started ramping in mid-June. The Chinese PLA (people’s liberation army) and the Indian army locked horns in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley that took away the lives of almost 20 Indian soldiers. It was a tragic incident during the times when the country was already fighting an unknown virus that had multiplied three-folds even after the lockdown was imposed when the country registered only 600 confirmed cases.
After the gas leak in Visakhapatnam, an accident again took place in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, which came into the limelight as it became a crucial headline. Since the past nine months lockdown, the Indian industry was trying to revive from its loss and this second gas leak accident made its speed slow. This was the second boiler blast in the power plant as reported. In the morning, when some workers were about to resume operations, this sudden incident took place. 9 workers suffered severe injuries and 14 were killed.
An Air India Express Plane with 184 passengers on board from Dubai to Calicut airport skidded off the runway and crashed at an airport in the Southern region of Kerala, killing 18 people on August 7 as reported by the officials. The flight was repatriated to bring back the Indians stranded by the coronavirus crisis. The former Indian Air Force test pilot, the commander of the flight, and his co-pilot died in the crash. The aircraft which fell 35 feet below the valley broke into two pieces without catching fire.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament which started on September14, saw 25 bills being passed in 10 days of work which continued till 23 September. Keeping in mind the outraging Covid-19 pandemic, the Monsoon Session was cut short by 8 days and shut down. Even the opposition boycotted the proceedings making the session one of the shortest in the last 20 years but the most productive one. The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha was harassed by the opposition parties for which eight MP’s of the Rajya Sabha were suspended and in return, those eight MP’s blamed the Deputy Chairman for his step. They also staged a ‘dharna’ outside the Parliament House.
The Diwali advertisement of the Tata group’s jewelry brand Tanishq was floating all over the social media platforms in October. It was claimed by some people that the advertisement promoted the concept of “love jihad”. While the advertisement just showed a Muslim mother-in-law welcoming her Hindu daughter-in-law with her utmost care, for in our society multiple communities thrive. After the controversy, many bought the Tanishq products to take a stand while the other part was playing the role of “spiral of silence”.
The MiG-29K aircraft which crashed into the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast was the third in number. The MiG-29K is riddled with problems relating to the airframe and also its fly-by-wire system as was reported in 2016. Within hours of the crash, one of the pilots was rescued but it took almost 11 days to find the remains of the second pilot, Commander Nishant Singh. Some debris of the aircraft including the fuel tank engine was recovered later on. The incident highly promoted the Indian navy to examine minutely the MiG-29K aircraft made by Russia.
Eluru in Andhra Pradesh faced a mysterious illness in the first week of December. The hospitals were full of patients suffering from headaches, vomiting, giddiness, and somewhat epilepsy-like symptoms. More than 500 people were infected by this illness. The National Institute of Virology was testing the samples of the patients suffering from this illness. In the serum of the patients, organochlorine and organophosphorus were found at a high rate. But the exact cause of the illness is still not found.
The Policy Times suggestion
- No matter how the year 2020 has gone by, nonetheless, it has brought strength to each one of us to fight the hurdles of life yet move on with dignity and grace. We have learned new life skills which shall ensure us a better life in the years to come if we have to face more such disastrous conditions in the future. Let us all say “what happens, happens for good” and move onto the next year with hope in our hearts.