LOOK BACK 2015: TOP 12 NATIONAL NEWSMAKERS
December 18th, 2015
The year 2015 witnessed many major events in India. A few people were at the forefront of these events, scripting history and dictating opinions. The Logical Indian presents a list of 12 personalities who more or less defined India’s 2015.
Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM
The 11th President of India.
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The former President and aerospace scientist breathed his last on 27 July. Dr Kalam was a revered and universally loved personality. He spearheaded both India’s missile and space programmes. From 2002 to 2007 he served as India’s President, guiding the nation through many crucial events including the Indo-US Nuclear Deal and the Mumbai Attacks. His death unleashed a volley of grief in the nation and the world.
The Minister of Finance & Minister of Corporate Affairs.
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Arun Jaitley is one of the most powerful people in the country. With the Indian economy currently outpacing China’s, Mr Jaitley has set his sights on securing double-digit growth as soon as possible. On 29 November, Mr Jaitley surprised the nation by saying the Supreme Court’s verdict on Section 377 should be reviewed.
The 7th Chief Minister of Delhi.
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Winning 54.3% of the vote share and 95.71% of the seats in the Delhi Assembly, Arvind Kejriwal subsequently took office as the 7th Chief Minister of Delhi. His victory was a major setback for both BJP and INC and shook the national political landscape.
Indian political activist.
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The 22-year-old Gujarati initiated a major agitation to secure reservation benefits for the Patel community. With his speeches he became an overnight sensation. His romance with the headlines continued throughout the second half of the year. The agitation was initially nonviolent before escalating to result in clashes and the death of 11 individuals.
INDIAN ARMED FORCES
Armed Forces of the Republic of India.
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Be it the Nepal earthquake or the Chennai floods, the Indian Army was always there to save lives and reinstall civilization. Their work in aiding and rehabilitating Nepal earned them international praise, and they have proven time and again that in the event of any natural calamity or conflict they will uphold the rights and dignity of every Indian citizen. This was especially highlighted during the South Indian floods when they saved hundreds of lives while putting their own at stake. This year they have shown us again why they are the real heroes.
The 18th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
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On 27 September 2014, Jayalalithaa Jayaram became the first incumbent Chief Minister to be disqualified from holding office. On May 23 2015, she returned as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her. Her ground support seems virtually strong as Tamil Nadu heads to election mode in 2016 to determine its Fifteenth Assembly. Her party was under widespread attack following poor management during the Chennai floods.
LALU PRASAD YADAV
The President of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
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The former Chief Minister and Minister of Railways returned to the top of his State’s political pyramid following a dismal performance in the 2014 General Elections. His party (RJD) won the most number of seats (80) in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly in the Legislative Assembly Elections. He partnered with JDU and INC to form Bihar’s new State Government, with Nitish Kumar sworn in as the State’s 22nd Chief Minister.
The 15th Prime Minster of India.
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The Prime Minister finished the first year of his reign on 16 May. He unveiled several government programmes in 2015 including Digital India, Housing For All.
By 2022, the smart cities project and the smart villages initiative. His biggest victories, probably, have been in diplomacy. He negotiated a peace treaty with Naga insurgents, swapped border enclaves with Bangladesh after historic land pacts and popularized the Neighbourhood First and Act East policies. His support for climate action in the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) enabled a concrete Climate Agreement to be passed.
The 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
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The ever-charismatic Raghuram Rajan steered India’s economy away from the debt crisis plaguing the world. One of the world’s foremost economists, Mr Rajan was unanimously elected as Vice-chairman of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which acts as a central bank for central banks.
The Vice President of the Indian National Congress (INC).
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Rahul Gandhi’s romance with the media continued throughout the year. After he returned to India during the second half of Parliament’s budget session, his mounting attacks on the Government have made headlines always and maintained him as a constant trend on social media.
Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram.
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With 29 years of UN experience and numerous acclaimed books and treatises, Mr Tharoor is among India’s top intellectuals. On July, Shashi Tharror participated in a debate in the Oxford Union arguing that Britain owed reparations to its colonies. His speech became an overnight sensation and gained abundant traction on social media. It earned Mr Tharoor widespread praise for his oratory and eloquence, and ignited a massive discussion on post-colonialism.
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More than two decades after the tragic events of 1993 which converted Bombay into a battle zone, one of the accused – Yakub Memon – was executed on 30 July. The weeks leading to his hanging were filled with appeals and court orders and vigorous national debating. Following his highly publicized death, hundreds thronged his funeral, mourning his demise and causing an uproar.