The novel coronavirus creeping in our world and turning into a pandemic, causing havoc in its wake is undoubtedly the biggest headline of 2020. Looking back, while there might have been several more, but this definitely takes the top spot. World over, every newspaper, magazine, news channels and other portals were peppered with COVID-19 news.
India was no different. But along with the pandemic, protests and political face-offs, too, dominated the news space. As 2020 comes to an end, here are top 10 contentious political developments.
Millions of people lost their lives and livelihoods to the pandemic. To contain the spread of COVID-19, borders were closed down, curfews were imposed and nations were put under lockdown. During this time, India saw the biggest migrant movement in decades. Labourers across the country began their journey home even as buses, trains and flights were grounded. While some walked, some cycled and some hitch-hiked their way home.
Galwan valley, about sixty kilometres north of the city of Ladakh, was back in the spotlight — the latest flashpoint between India and China.
In the latest flashpoint between India and China, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a "violent face-off" with Chinese troops in Ladakh in June that led to months of border escalation between the two countries. In the months following the border violence, China and India have held multiple talks at all levels to resolve the conflict but with very little success.
This was the first time after the 1962 war that soldiers lost their lives during clashes on the India-China border in Ladakh.
Ram Mandir Bhoomipujan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted the 'Bhoomi Pujan' and laid the foundation stone for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5, 2020. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust had announced in September that Ram Temple will have 1,200 pillars which will go 200 feet deep. It is expected that the Ram Mandir would be 161 feet tall.
The ceremony was held with all Covid protocols in place. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the event. The guest list, including religious leaders who formed part of the movement that started in the 1980s, was restricted to 175 in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
For more than three weeks, tens of thousands of Indian farmers have camped out around New Delhi to protest against a set of farm bills passed by the parliament in September. Thousands more from the neighboring states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh are set to join them in the coming days, even as police try to block them from entering the city. Farmers, braving the cold Delhi winters, lathicharge and tear gas shelling by the security forces, have refused to budge until the laws are repealed. Talks have been held between the Centre and farmers, but with no success.
The outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump made a two-day visit to India in February earlier this year, and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad. Donald Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, visited the country amid the raging controversy over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
Greeted by PM Modi with a hug as he landed in Ahmedabad, Donald Trump and his family were welcomed by a waving crowd. The outgoing US President and PM Modi addressed a packed stadium, teeming with millions who had shown up for the ‘Namaste (Welcome) Trump’ event, amid growing coronavirus scare.
Protests erupted in different parts of the country in the end of 2019 and went on till 2020 over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh if they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
Riots broke out at many places in north-east Delhi in February 2020, in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The violence erupted on February 22, but the riots continued for four days, claiming 53 lives and around 600 people were injured.