India saw its many ups and downs in 2017; demonetization was on people’s minds till March and a couple more months. Peace was restored in Kashmir, but communal clashes and numerous heinous crimes committed by cow vigilantes reigned in 2017.
India started the year with a victory by successfully launching 104 satellites in a single mission on 15th February. ISRO’s PSLV – C37 consisting of two nano-satellites of India, INS -1A and INS -1B, and nano-satellites of other countries i.e. Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and United States of America from SDSC SHAR Sriharikota. The 101 international satellites were launched as a part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corp. Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO and international customers. ISRO set a world record by launching 104 satellites in one go.
On July 1, India woke up to one of the biggest reforms after Independence. GST came with a baggage of confusion, uncertainty, and critique. All small and medium-sized businesses have to register with the government and now every business has to make cash memos and bills. The months that followed the reform saw inflation in certain sectors and lower quarterly GDP. Critics are divided on its long-term results, but for now, the loopholes and glitches in the technology have been dealt with and the process is smoother.
The same month, India’s 14th President, Ram Nath Kovind was elected with a majority of 65% and M. Venkaiah Naidu was elected as the 13th Vice-President of India on 5th August.
Soon after, India’s most contentious issue which persists to date, the triple talaq bill started gaining heat across the debating circles in India. Supreme Court made historic decisions on the right to privacy and triple talaq. The 9-judges bench ruled in favor of the right to privacy and declared it as a fundamental right. Indian citizens were awarded the basic liberty of taking decisions of their lives, which was a much-awaited right for the LGBT+ community. Legalising same-sex marriages in India still has a long way to go but India is beginning to tread on that path.
In the case of Shayara Bano VS Union of India and Ors, the court banned the custom of triple talaq. Thousands of women in our country have suffered because of this practice and our neighboring countries banned the practice ages ago. On one hand, the court’s decision is still questioned by women’s rights’ organisations, and on the other hand, the Muslim community contends that they are not bound to follow the law because religion and the constitution are two separate entities.
The Supreme Court criminalised sex with a minor girl, whether in wedlock or out of it, but the Kerala High Court did not rule in favor of Hadiya, who had a consented marriage with a Muslim.
In what can be termed as a dark mark in the journalistic history, Gauri Lankesh’s cold-blooded assassination sparked outrage and people from various walks of life questioned the freedom of media under the present government. It was a blow to the very spirit of journalism but the media woke up to a renewed fire of protecting its freedom as an homage to Gauri’s death.
The year ended for North India on a bitter note with pollution levels rising across all the northern states. The pollution levels had reached disgraceful levels last October and it is high time the government and we take strict action towards it.
Feature Image Credits: Newslaundry