Free Press Journal

Flashback 2017: A quick recap of the year that was

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It is again that time of the year, when no matter how big or small you are, you want to reflect over the past year and think about things that went right and things that went wrong. Remember the rights and hope to keep repeating them in the year to come and to take the wrongs in the stride, evaluate them and make better decisions.
The previous year was full of ups and downs like it should be, in a recap let’s take a look at the major events that shaped the opinion of the country, events that made us proud and also events that made us put down our head in shame and think about where are we heading at.

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya The 61-year-old tycoon, who has been staying in the UK for over a year now, is accused of defaulting on loans worth thousands of crores in India. He slipped out of the country in March last year, amid attempts by a group of banks to recover more than Rs. 9,000 crore loaned to him for his now-collapsed Kingfisher Airlines. However, Vijay Mallya is still at large, we hope he is not partying too hard this New Year’s Eve.

Phalaj Nihalani


Pahlaj Nihalani, who turned the censored anything and everything was sacked as the organisation’s chairman by the government. His successor is famous lyricist-adman Prasoon Joshi, while actor Vidya Balan joins the board. People thought Nihlani’s ouster would bring in much needed better sense but that clearly did not happen, as it was evidently seen with the movie ‘Padmavati’. Bollywood spent most of 2017 getting their films cleared by ‘sanskari’ censor board we hope things are rather different for them in 2018 for censor board as well as ‘Padmavat’. So much outrage for the sake of an ‘i’.

Virat Kohli

Indian Cricket Team captain has had prelific run this year. Virat was named captain in the ODI and T20 at the beginning of the year, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepping down from the captaincy. Virat scored a total of 2818 runs in 52 innings in total that is almost 700 runs more than England’s Joe Root who is second in the list. On the personal front as well Virat tied the knot with the leading lady of Bollywood Anushka Sharma. We hope that the coming year is another amazing year for the duo.

104 satellite

While most of the country seemed to divided based on ideologies and political affiliations ISRO kept on doing the good work, they have been doing forever. It was yet another year of jubilation for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for it achieved a historic feat launching a massive 104 satellites using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). On February 15, the Indian rocket successfully managed to launch Cartostat-2 (India’s earth observation satellite weighing 714 kgs) along with 103 other co-passenger satellites in a single go. ISRO is aiming make the achievements list bigger and better in the next couple of years with the planned launch of Chandrayaan II and Aditya-L1. We hope in 2018 it continues to do so.

Delete option in whatapp/ 280 characters on twitter

People who spend most of their time on Social Media or on Whatsapp were introduced to two new massive changes. Whatsapp allowed its users to delete unwanted messages sent to people.  The move was welcomed by most, after all who doesn’t believe in magic of second chances. On the other hand Twitter decided to increase their character limit to 280 characters, and whole of Twitter seemed to be divided over it. Some liked the move, some hated it. In any case it was the talk of the town for some time. We hope there more welcoming changes made in the coming year, specially the one’s related to abuse.

Miss world: Manushi Chillar

After a gap of 17 years Indian representative won the crown of Miss World. Manushi Chillar, a Haryana resident made India proud on a global platform. Once again forcing the world to look at the east, indicating the rise of India. Priyanka Chopra was the previous Indian to win the crown in 2000.

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, broke all kinds of record and set a new benchmark in the entertainment industry. SS Rajamoli painted the canvas like nobody else had before. The movie surpassed everyone’s imagination. Hope this movie will make other film-makers across India to up their standards in film making and use of technology. Also 2017, became the year, where finally people got ot know, “Kattapa ne Bahubali ko kyun mara?”

Fifa U-17 World Cup 2017

India hosted the 17th FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 from 6-28 October. England went on to win the tournament, but the tournament saw Indian U-17 football team take the baby steps into the huge world of football, the world’s biggest carnival. Yes, the baby steps were not firm, we faltered but after holding on to right fingers and enough support from the system and people, we are sure that the Indian football team will make us proud in the years to come, they surely are on the right track.

PV Sindhu

After her incredible feat at the Olympics last year, the ace shuttler made the country proud once again when she won silver at the BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Superseries Final held at Glasglow. The 22-year-old lost to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, but did secure the third spot in the BWF rankings.

Courts of India

The Supreme Court of India was the real hero of India in the year 2017. Supreme court banned the practice of Triple Talaq. And the government of India criminalised the act, though India seemed to be divided on the India of criminalising the act and sending the man to prison for 3 years, but the ban of tripple talaq was welcomed by everyone. Supreme Court also unanimously ruled that privacy is a fundamental right under the article 21 of the constitution. This in turn also includes preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, home and sexual orientation, a right to be left alone, safeguard individual autonomy and personal choices. The courts also convicted Baba Ram Rahim and set free the Talwars in two different cases, these two cases grabbed the attention of the Indian media. We hope in the coming when the government and law fails us, the courts stand by us.

GST

The much talked about Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out on July 1, 2017 it replace the old tax system of the previous governments. GST was launched with much fun and fair on the mid-night of July 1, 2017. However, over a period of 4 months the tax slab on variety of products was slashed because of the outrage of the common man and opposition. GST became one of the important weapon used by the opposition in the Gujarat Assembly elections.

#Metoo

The online campaign initiated by actress Alyssa Milano in early October saw thousands of Indian women speak up against sexual abuse. The disturbing narratives by women on various social media platforms had #MeToo going viral and soon it turned into a movement of solidarity for women who were victims of various form of sexual harassment.

Gorakhpur hospital deaths

A large number of child deaths occurred at the state-run BRD Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur city of Uttar Pradesh, India in 2017. As of 2 September 2017, 1,317 children died at the hospital in 2017. The 2017 deaths attracted media attention in August, when 325 children died at the hospital. We hope in 2018 such a tragedy doesn’t occur.

Statues

In 2017 statues continued to be in debate. In Mumbai, Maharashtra Shivaji Maharaja’s statue is to be erected in the Arabian Sea. The statue is going to cost more Rs 3,600 crore. Citizens seemed to be divided over this move, should the state and centre spend so much money in building statues, specially when the infrastructure and the drainage system is in ruins? This monsoon as well the city was flooded the same money could be used to make the drainage better. Whatever the government decides, we hope that the city is not flooded again in 2018.

Railway accidents

If there were was an award for the most number railway accidents in a country, India would have won it all hands down. 2017, was not at all a good year for the Indian railways. From the Hirakhand Express derailment in January to the Kalinga Utkal train incident in August, the whole of 2017 was marked by frequent railway accident that claimed many innocent lives. Another setback for the Indian Railways was the stampede in Mumbai in which at least 23 people and around 40 were injured. The tragedy happened while the railway minister was on the visit in the city.

Smog

2017 was not so well for Delhiites, pollution across India was on the rise but the National capital topped the chart. In a ruling given in early October, the SC also temporarily suspended licenses handed over by Delhi Police permitting the sale of Diwali crackers in Delhi and within NCR, paving way for more eco-friendly measures that could help in ensuring pollutant-free environment. The pollution was also highlighted during a Test match that was played between India and Sri Lanka in the capital. Players of both the sides were seen struggling. Hope Delhi gets to breath cleaner air in 2018.

Farmers

Crop failure and failed monsoon frustrated the Indian farmers across the country. There were countless number of protest across the country. 2017 saw plentiful protests of many such distressed famers who walked the streets of Delhi seeking political intervention in the form of compensations and loan waivers.

President and vice president of India

On July 17, 2017, India elected its 14th President. Seventy-one-year-old Ram Nath Kovind took office of the President from former Pranab Mukherjee. BJP’s M Venkaiah Naidu was elected as India’s 13th Vice-President overpowering Opposition’s Gopalkrishna Gandhi in an election on August 5, 2017.