Let me go back in time to recall certain important events (as I saw them and in my opinion) during the year before I say adieu to 2017 and open my arms to welcome the new year 2018. the year was full of events but I will only try and record what I consider important.
1. The year began with the President Trump assuming the office of POTUS and what caught the fancy of the people was call given by President Trump’s “America First” policy. Some may call it isolationist and protectionist. But in my mind the call seems to have caught the fancy of youth in America and may parts of the globe. They think that free immigration in to the country is robbing them of their jobs by the cheap labour offered by these immigrants. I do see some truth in it. BREXIT last year (fall out of Trump presidential campaign) and gain of right parties in various parts of the globe is an indicator towards this. India is not untouched.
2. Doklam stand off with the Chinese in Jun occupied the minds of Indian people. India stood firm ground and it augers well for the future while dealing with the Chinese. It did offer challenges to the foreign policy makers and the military which stood ground and called off the bluff of PLA. It did help to clear the cobweb of decades of decrepit bureaucracy with 1962 psyche. But the initial days did give the shock wave and volatility shook the Indian Stock exchanges.
3. An online campaign, hashtag “Not In My Name” ( #NotInMyName) was started to protest against the mob violence and cow vigilantism after the killing of Junaid while travelling in the train. It became viral in the Facebook and TV channels fell head over heels to capture prime time viewership. But it did bring the focus on the free wheeling mob lynching happening in the country. The Prime Minister was forced to openly criticise such lynching in the name of religion.
4. Another hashtag campaign which took the world by storm was “MeToo” (#MeToo). It started to openly bring in the domain of social media about the magnitude of sexual harassment and assault being faced in every kind of environment. It started when many of women accused the film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and misogynistic behaviour as a male chauvinistic attitude. The hashtag trended in India too. Bollywood film industry came out in open to bring this menace in open.
5. Another aspect which bothered me in 2017 was fake news. Our veteran community was not untouched. Political parties indulged in it freely. In the era of connected communities fake news spreads like wild fire with negative impacts. Hope this is halted by somebody some how.
The year was full of events which touched our lives like GST and North Korean crisis in the international scene. But I consider the above mentioned five events which have shaped our thinking differently.
With that I bid farewell to 2017 and get up to welcome 2018 with my open arms and full of hopes. I am optimist by nature and I wish happy new year to all my readers. May our world become more liveable and communities become more tolerant to each other. Amen!!!