2015 proved to be ‘just another year’ for the capital city of the country. However huge the political debacles in the first couple of months were, thanks to the Assembly Elections; the year turned out to be more or less a mundane one. Promises were left as mere promises and the dream of a Delhi with free WiFi, Water and Electricity stayed as bleak as before. While there were very tiny positive developments, the year was a stable one also because of lesser negative controversies in comparison to the days done by. Here’s a glimpse of all that brought Delhi in the headlines this year:
1. 66th Republic Day with Mr. Barack Obama: The Rajpath saw a multitude of people gathering on the chilly morning of 26th January, 2015, the republic day celebrations; the highlight of which weren’t the impeccable march pasts or processions but the presence of the President of U.S.A Mr. Barack Obama. President Obama and the First Lady also attended all the formal ceremonies, which was argued to hint at better diplomatic relations between India and the U.S.
Further Reading: Places that Mr. President should’ve visited according to DU Beat
Barack Obama attending the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath | Source: indianexpress.com
2. AAP in power again with 67/70 seats: Second chances were given, not just marginally but with a whooping, incomparable majority to Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party. 14th February, 2015 turned out to be a milestone for both Kejriwal and AAP, when the result-tabs board showed 67 out of 70 seats in the domain of the party. The same day came as a big blow to the unbreakable chain of wins for the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) which was reduced to a minor 3 seat arena. Free WiFi, subsidized electricity and water were the most ‘attractive’ promises of the campaign.
Further Reading: Curious Case of Delhi Elections
3. Violet Line connects Faridabad to NCR: Delhi Metro expanded its chains to Faridabad, the inauguration of which was done by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on 6th September, 2015. The extension of the Violet Line of Delhi Metro from Badarpur Metro Station to Escorts Mujesar in Faridabad added 9 stations. The Violet Line now connects ITO to Faridabad.
4. “Four-Fold increase in salaries of MLAs of Delhi”, approves AAP Government: Whether basic amenities will ever be free and sanitation will ever be ensured is ambiguous, but the AAP Government was sure to work for the welfare of the MLAs by ensuring a 400% hike in their salaries. The proposal was approved in a Cabinet Meeting chaired by CM Arvind Kejriwal by passing the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension) Amendment Bill 2015 on 27th November, 2015. The bill has now been sent to The Ministry of Home Affairs for approval.
5. Odd-Even Rule coming from WHO declaring Delhi the most polluted city of the globe: All hell broke loose in May 2014, and rightly so, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Delhi the most polluted city of the world. Pollution levels in Delhi have been standing constant at alarming rates since the past five years. Kejriwal government was inspired by the Chinese experiment of the Odd-Even Traffic Rule, and proposed to follow the same in Delhi in early December. Alternate days shall be allotted for odd numbered and even numbered cars as per the rule, which was criticised and supported by stakeholders alike (Though the former was way more apparent than the latter!). Only time will tell the success of this revolution of traffic rules in Delhi.
Further Reading: Bazinga – DU students exempted from the odd-even rule
6. AAP’s Cleanliness Mobile App launched: Keeping all rivalry and tension with the PM Narendra Modi aside, the AAP government proved itself to be a concrete supporter and promoter of the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’ by launching the Clean Delhi Mobile App on 17th November, 2015. The app lets one capture an image of ill-sanitary conditions in any area and the government, after locating the place, promises to get it cleaned up at the earliest. This initiative was widely appreciated and has seen a slow but positive response from the citizens.
7. Car-Free Day to be observed on 22nd of every month: This initiative started on October 22nd, 2015 as an attempt to manage the alarming pollution levels of the city. Residents observed the Car-Free Day by participating in cycle-rallies and taking public transport to work. A study released by Center of Science and Environment (CSE) reported as sharp as 60% decline in Delhi’s Air Pollution on October 22nd and the initiative was widely supported by Delhi-ites.
8. Juvenile convicted in Delhi’s Gang-rape Case of 2012 released: While activists, the victim’s parents, even certain politicians kept pleading against the release, the juvenile convicted in the 2012 Delhi Gang-rape case was released precisely after three years from the incident on 20th December, 2015. He was reportedly sent to an NGO for ‘mental reformation and rehabilitation’. Arguably as one of the most heinous incidents that shook the nation, the 2012 Gang-rape case sparked an uncontrollable fire of demand for justice to Jyoti Singh, who eventually succumbed to her wounds.
Jyoti’s father, Badrinath, commented, “It’s all politics that’s happening, and not justice.” He couldn’t be more accurate to analyse the event. The Judiciary in India reached an all time low with this judgement which was passed in less than a month of clearance of all charges against Salman Khan in the 2002 Hit-and-Run Case. Do we still have reasons to believe that the Indian Judiciary is unbiased and advocates justice? Or is it time to re-think what the Constitution of India promises?