Its Independence Day again. A well deserved holiday specially for poor souls like me who are in the six days a week grind. Its also the time for my annual review for all things Indian (My way to mark the occasion).
The last year had more than its fair share of tragedies. The Bihar floods, the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the global economic recession, the attacks on Indians in Australia, worse Indians being attacked in India on the basis of region, IPL being staged outside the country for security reasons and now the swine flu. It was also the time for elections and the year of Slumdog Millionaire.
The biggest event was of course the general elections held in April & May. The UPA came back to power with a much stronger mandate with the Congress itself crossing the 200 mark. Lets hope that free of the crutches of whimsical allies the governmant would take some stronger decisions. The elections were completed fairly smoothly though now some people are raising questions regarding the reliability of the voting machines (a case of sour grapes because its mainly the people who lost this time). The elections caused IPL to be shifted to South Africa which reaffirmed the clout of BCCI in the cricketing world.
The 26/11 attacks on Mumbai have been well documented. It has caused increased security and safety concerns. India as a global destination has come under question. Sports teams have now started withdrawing from events in India. (Australian Davis Cup Squad & British Badminton contingent). The 26/11 attacks showed that nothing is really secure. The biggest poblem is can these attacks be prevented at all? Post 26/11 there were a few citzen rallies and that was it, now all those concerns and issues seem to have been put on the back burner.
Another regular news item was Indians getting beaten up in Australia. Media, politicians etc raised a big hue and cry over this. Australians were accused of being racist. But my question here is, dont we do the same? Indians are getting beaten up in parts of India on the basis of region. Caste related killings still take place. So why should be expect anything better from outsiders?
The global economic recession has had its impact everywhere. People are losing jobs, salaries are getting lower. For the Indian economy the bigger impact could be the possible failure of mosoons this year.
The hysteria caused by swine flu has already cost quite a bit. A big weekend has been spoiled because of extra safety precautions being taken. Many more people have died because of malaria and dengue n the same time period than swine flu but nothing much is being said about these.
In the sports world, its still cricket which rules. BCCI now gives grant to the football federation. Hockey world cup dates are changed to avoid clashing with IPL3. They also refuse to sign WADA clauses which other sportsersons have signed inspite of having some reservations. However some individual sportspersons are still around giving hope. Saina Nehwal's achievements have led to full page coverage of the World Badminton Championships. The big tennis stars (Paes, Bhupathi & Sania) are still here, with Somdev DevBurman & Yuki Bhambri also coming into the news. After a good performance in the Olympics our boxers are still making news with their peformances in the various events.
And lastly the entertainment world. We have some more Indian Academy Award Winners. Rehman is now a global icon. Nothing much to write about in the Indian movies front though. Television is getting weirder day by day. News channels have become mass hysteria generators and nothing else. And the rest of the prograaming has been taken over by reality shows which are getting more and more unreal day by day.
So this is how I have seen India turn 62. More negative than positives came out. But its human nature to always hope for better. Hopefully I will have better things to write when India turns 63.