Important News Stories That Missed The Headlines Amidst The Aamir Khan Controversy

Sudhanva Shetty

November 26th, 2015

Image Source: Oneindia News

For the past two days, Aamir Khan’s statements have made national headlines. It seems as if a TRP-obsessed media and internet trolls have hijacked the national debate. It’s almost as if we as a people have become comfortable with discussing the personal opinions of private individuals on such a mass scale.

Meanwhile, while the level of our public discourse was stooping so low, we missed the bigger issues at hand. The Logical Indian lists 11 such issues which we should be discussing right now:

2015 UN Climate Change Conference: From 30 November to 11 December, leaders of 190 nations will meet in Paris to discuss new global agreements on climate change. World leaders have reaffirmed their commitment in the past few weeks to combat climate change. PM Modi in Malaysia urged his counterparts to “come together to craft a balanced and concrete outcome on climate change”. The Paris Climate Summit has the potential of scripting history.

ASEAN Summit: Terrorism and the South China Sea dispute dominated the recently concluded ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Chennai floods: 169 lives lost, 400,000 in shelter camps, educational institutions shut for 17 days, over ₹1000 crore worth of industrial damage; incessant rain has ravaged Chennai and nearby areas.

Economic inequality: According to a recent report by New World Wealth, India is among the top 10 nations in terms of private wealth held but among the bottom 20 in terms of per capita wealth. In terms of private wealth growth since 2000, India was ranked 5th, registering a growth of 211%.

Gender equality: The World Economic Forum released its annual Global Gender Gap report. The most gender-equal country in the world was found to be Iceland with a score of 0.88 on a scale of 0 (inequality) to 1 (equality), while the last country on the list was Yemen. India’s rank is 108 out of 145. The report found that the gender gap across professions had closed by only 4% in the past decade, and predicted that it would take 118 more years to achieve gender equality.

J&K CM: Thousands of people stoned J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s ancestral house to protest against the killing of three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists. They proceeded to hoist the Pakistani flag. The Valley is currently observing a complete shutdown after the killing of the three militants belonging to the separatist group.

Parliament: PM Modi said that the Government hopes to roll out the Goods & Service Tax (GST) early next year. For this, hectic negotiations and debating is necessary during the Winter Session of Parliament. Also, this Session will be of utmost importance due to the washed out, deadlocked, adjournment-filled Monsoon Session earlier this year.

Raghuram Rajan: The RBI Governor was recently elected as the Vice-chairman of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The BIS is essentially a central bank for all central banks, and Mr Rajan is the first Indian to hold that office.

Real estate debt: According to credit ratings agency Crisil, India’s top real estate companies stand to lose more than ₹30,000 crore due to high debt. The agency also predicted decreased demand in the near future.

Terrorism: India was ranked the 6th most affected country in the 2015 Global Terrorism Index. Terror-related deaths in India rose by 1.2% in the past year. The report also stated that ISIS and Boko Haram are now jointly responsible for 51% of all terror-related fatalities worldwide.

ULFA: The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), a separatist outfit, is currently engaged in peace talks with the Indian Government. The extradition of the general-secretary of ULFA from Bangladesh was a high point, increasing chances for a deal being reached. The extradition also highlighted the improving relations between Indian and Bangladesh after the historic land pacts. The Centre and the State Government of Assam need to avoid making the peace talks political in nature (especially with the Assam Assembly elections only a few months away) if a truce is to be reached.

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