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Best and Worst of the year: Political Highlights of 2016

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2016 has been a significant year, in both national and international political arenas. Political events all around the world have made headlines this year, and these developments will leave an impact for years to come. The whole world had its eyes on the US Presidential elections and its results in November, while simultaneously Narendra Modi went forward with the boldest economic-political reform of Demonetisation. Here is an overview of International and National politics in 2016:

International Politics:

  1. Donald Trump elected as the Presidential successor to Barack Obama in USA:
    Photo credit – National Review.

    After Barack Obama served 2 successive terms as the President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 as a representative of the Democratic Party, Donald Trump was elected as the new president of the United States of America as a Republican Nominee on November 8th, 2016. He chose Mike Pence, the sitting governor of Indiana, as his running Vice Presidential candidate. Trump won the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by popular vote, even though exit polls showed Clinton winning over Trump.  Trump’s populist positions in opposition to illegal immigration and various trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific partnership earned him support in male voters and white blue-collar


  1. Rising Unrest in Aleppo:
    Photo Credit- CNN

    The Battle of Aleppo is a part of the ongoing Syrian Civil War which began in 2016. Aleppo has been a prime site for open and major military confrontation involvingthe Syrian opposition (including Free Syrian Army, and Sunni fighters, including Levant Front) in close cooperation with the Army of Conquest, which includes within it Al-Nusra Front, formerly al-Qaida’s Syrian branch, against the Syrian Armed Forces of the Syrian Government, supported by Hezbollah and Shiite militias and Russia, and against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units. This war has created enormous humanitarian unrest in Aleppo, due to which the civilians face death, bombing, constant patrolling, lack of food or medicines and a general loss in life and livelihood. Many Syrians have been lucky enough to migrate from their homeland and seek better lives outside their nation, however many of them still live in Aleppo with a constant fear of death. The current state of Aleppo has created major international uproar which aims at rehabilitating the lives of those who have been suffering.


  1. Initiation of the new Secretary General of the United Nations:
    Photo Credit:

    On 13 October 2016, The United Nations General Assembly appointed by acclamation the former Prime Minister of Portugal,António Guterres, as the next United Nations Secretary-General, to succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on 31 December 2016.


  1. Assasination of Russian Ambassador:
    Photo Credit: CNN

    Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was shot dead by an assassin who told him: “We die in Aleppo, you die here.” The gunman was an off-duty policeman who opened fired at an art gallery in Ankara as Andrei Karlov was making a speech, then stood triumphantly over his body shouting revenge for Syria and Aleppo. Russia described this event as a ‘terrorist act’.

National Politics:

Photo credit:
  1. Demonetization:
    The demonetisation of ?500 and ?1,000 banknotes was a policy enacted by the Government of India on 8 November 2016, ceasing the usage of these banknotes as legal tender in India from 9 November 2016. The announcement was made by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in an unscheduled live televised address 8 November. In the announcement, Modi declared that use of all ?500 and ?1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series would be invalid after midnight of that day, and announced the issuance of new ?500 and ?2,000 in exchange for the old banknotes. The government claimed that the demonetisation was an effort to stop counterfeiting of the current banknotes allegedly used for funding terrorism and to impose a crack down on black money in the country. However, in the days following the demonetisation, banks and ATMs across the country faced severe cash shortages with severe effects on a number of small businesses, agriculture, and transportation. People seeking to exchange their notes had to stand in lengthy queues, and several deaths were linked to the inconveniences caused due to the rush to exchange cash.


  1. Resignation of Najeeb Jung:
    Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has submitted his resignation to the Centre, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure. Jung did not issue a reason for his resignation, however it is said that Jung wanted to go back to his true passion for academia. Jung thanked Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal along with the people of Delhi for their continued support, however AAP claims that Jung is responsible for stalling ambitious projects, like setting up of Mohalla clinics across Delhi.


  1. Demise of J.Jayalalithaa:
    The esteemed Cheif Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa, fondly known as Amma, passed away on December 5th, 2016. She served Tamil Nadu for 14 years, between the years 1991 to 2016. She passed away due to her inability of recovering from a cardiac arrest, and her death was confirmed by Apollo Hospitals. She is succeeded by O. Panneerselvam from the AIADMK Party.


  1. State Polls:
    2016 saw the beginning of the State Elections which are to be held in 2017. In many of these states, Assembly Polls have already taken place and final voting is to be held in 2017. The states wherein elections will be taking place are West Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.


Joyee Bhattacharya

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