Another year has passed by and we have witnessed a maelstrom of news stories that dominated the headlines across all media. We bring to you such events that made major news headlines and shook the nation.
1. Milestone Judgments from the Supreme Court concerning Aadhaar and Section 377:
The SC had upheld the constitutional validity of the unique identification number, however had barred the private entities from using the biometric data for Know Your Customer (KYC) authentication. SC also scrapped the section 377 of the IPC that criminalized homosexuality, bringing a new hope to the people of the LGBTQ community, the judgement was widely celebrated by people from all sects.
2. Rafale Deal
The Rafale deal controversy became a major political controversy and hit top stories section of all publications. The attacks on the ruling Modi government were made by the opposition Congress government further aggravating the issue. In December, the Supreme Court dismissed all petitions seeking probe into the alleged irregularities of the deal and gave a clean chit to the Centre on decision making, pricing and selection of the Indian offset partner.
3. India’s #MeToo movement
A year after the allegations of sexual assault were leveled against Harvey Weinstein propelling the #MeToo into a national movement in the USA, India’s much-awaited #MeToo campaign started from October. It grabbed the heat as many prominent men were put under the pyre with several women mustering courage to share their stories. Media moguls, bigwigs of entertainment industry and an ex-minister in the neta-babu government have been accused of sexual assault and predations.
4. Floods in Kerala
Kerala wreaked havoc as the floods resulted in the death of 483 people and 14 went missing. Kerala took months to crawl back to normalcy and the entire nation came together to support and supply the emergency requirements while the reconstruction aid poured in from across the country and the world. The Indian government had declared it a calamity of a severe nature. Similarly there were severe landslides in 150 locations in Kodagu district of Karnataka causing many deaths.
5. Death of famous personalities
The year witnessed the demise of famous personalities, including 41st President of the United States of America George H W Bush, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist Stephen Hawking, creator of popular Marvel superheroes Stan Lee, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi and legendary actress Sridevi.
6. Assembly elections
With Lok Sabha election almost nearing, the nation witnessed nine state assembly polls. Three Northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland — voted in February. All three states saw a change of government. In May, Congress joined hands with the Janata Dal to keep BJP away from power. Congress won in the three states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
7. Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
On 2 October, Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, walked into the country’s consulate in Istanbul, where he was murdered. Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor claimed Khashoggi was killed inside the building on the orders of a rogue intelligence officer while Turkish officials stated that the journalist was killed by a team of Saudi agents on orders that came from the highest levels and what’s most stirring is his body has not yet been found. Disturbing allegations, complex diplomatic situations and contradicting statements surfaced as news headlines following Khashoggi’s death.
8. Urjit Patel’s resignation
In a shock to many The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s Governor had resigned nine months before his tenure, which was to end on September 2019. His resignation came against the backdrop of increased tensions between the Finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India. Infact he was hand-picked by the BJP-led government after his predecessor Raghuram Rajan was denied a second-term.
9. Flipkart-Walmart deal
In May, Walmart had bought a 77 percent stake in Flipkart for $16 billion to enter India’s growing e-commerce market. This is perhaps largest e-commerce deal in the world.
10. FIFA World cup 2018
The 21st FIFA World Cup, bagged headlines, with continued news pouring of detailed happenings of the tournaments in newspapers and television channels. People waited to watch the live FIFA and though India did not participate in the tournament, they supported the FIFA whole heartedly. The tournament took place in Russia from the 14 June to 15 July 2018.
11. The Statue of Unity
A 182-metre tall tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, hogged the limelight in Gujarat. This tallest statue in the world has been designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutarwas. The statue was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 at Kevadiya in Narmada district. It has been attracting a large number of tourists since then.
12. Nipah virus
In May this year, a Nipah virus disease (NiV) spread by secretions of infected bats made the headlines. The outbreak was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala. People from the nearing states were asked not to visit these places. This is the first NiV outbreak in South India. The virus is listed by the W.H.O. as a high priority for research and has killed at least 17 of them.
13. Celebrity weddings
The British royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place on 19 May in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. There were many Indian celebrity weddings too. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s 700 crore marriage festivities surpassed all other big fat Indian weddings in scale. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor married businessman Anand Ahuja on May 8 in Mumbai. Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh tied their knots on 14 November in Italy’s Lake Como. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra got married on 1 December at the Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur. Shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap, both Commonwealth Games medallist, tied the knot on 16 December.
Also read: Most infamous corruption scandals of India