New Delhi: From Congress registering a landmark victory in the Assembly Elections 2018 to milestone judgements by the Supreme Court on issues related to Aadhaar, Sabarimala temple and Rafale, this year has been a year of breaking news. The nation also lost two of its beloved leaders in 2018. The demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and M Karunanidhi came as a shock for the nation. The country also witnessed nature’s fury in the form of devastating cyclones and floods. In all, 2018 has been an year of ups and downs for the country. Let’s have a look at the top 10 headlines of the year!
1. Congress Winning Assembly Elections
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh witnessed a setback as the Congress emerged a clear winner in the Assembly Elections held in these states. While the grand old party formed government in Chhattisgarh with a clear majority, it got the support of BSP and SP in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and M Karunanidhi’s Death
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister, passed away at the age of 93 on August 16 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi after a period of prolonged illness. He was cremated on August 17 with full state honour at Smriti Sthal. Former chief minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi died on August 7 aged 94. He was addressed as ‘Kalaignar’ by party workers and supporters.
3. Supreme Court’s judgement on Sabarimala Temple
The Supreme Court in September removed all restrictions imposed by Sabarimala Temple with regard to entry of women between the ages of 10 to 50. While pronouncing the order, the then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said that the ban in place violated Constitutional principles and that women’s rights cannot be subverted as they are in no way less than men.
4. Kerala Floods
Kerala was hit with an unprecedented high level of rainfall in the month of August, followed by devastating floods and cyclone Titli. At least 370 people lost their lives in the floods whereas, several others were left injured and numerous displaced. The deluge caused a damage of worth Rs 20,000 crores to the state, as per the initial assessment by the Pinaryi Vijayan government.
5. Supreme Court crisis
Four senior judges of the Supreme Court, earlier this year, mounted a virtual revolt against the chief justice, listing a litany of problems that they said are afflicting the country’s highest court and warned they could destroy Indian democracy. A press conference was addressed by Justice J Chelameswar, accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
6. Urjit Patel Resigns as RBI Governor
RBI Governor Urjit Patel, who had a run in with the government over autonomy of the central bank, Monday resigned from his post. He, however, did not specify the reason for the decision. Patel was appointed the 24th Governor of the RBI on September, 2016 for a three-year term.
7. Supreme Court’s judgement on Rafale
The Supreme Court dismissed the petitions challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision-making process” warranting setting aside of the contract. The apex court rejected the pleas, which sought lodging of an FIR and a court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement.
8. Me Too Movement
The #MeToo movement started with Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta alleging Nana Patekar of sexual harassment during the shooting of Horn Ok Pleassss. Following this, several women took to social media websites and shared the harrowing experiences they had to witness at workplace. Known faces like former union minister MJ Akbar, singer Kailash Kher, director Sajid Khan among others were called out by women on social media over #MeToo charges.
9. Rahul Gandhi Hugging PM Narendra Modi during No Confidence Motion
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in July took everyone in the Lok Sabha by surprise when he went and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi after tearing into the BJP-led government during the no confidence motion. “I have not an iota of hatred or hard feelings against you. You hate me, I maybe ‘Pappu’ for you. But I love you and respect you because I am the Congress,” he had said at the end of his fiery speech.
10. Kartarpur Corridor Controversy
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 28 laid the foundation stone for a corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims. The Kartarpur Corridor is expected to be completed within six months. The development comes ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in 2019. India was represented by Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri at the event. Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also attended the ceremony, following which he was widely criticised back home.