News makers: 2023

Here, we bring you the Newsmakers of the year and the more striking Express Dialogues with prominent personalities that we got to interact with through the year….
Rahul Dravid. (File photo)
Rahul Dravid. (File photo)

As we exit 2023, we look back at the year that has been eventful on several fronts. From India recording a historic landing near the south pole of the Moon, to researching the Sun through the Aditya-L1 mission, to Congress making a comeback in state politics to gain the reins of the state, to Rahul Dravid-coached Indian team nearly lifting the World Cup but faltering at the last hurdle, 2023 has been an exciting year. Here, we bring you the Newsmakers of the year and the more striking Express Dialogues with prominent personalities that we got to interact with through the year….

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal

Playing strong, pro-Hindutva champion Yatnal also antagonised former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and his son B Y Vijayendra. He didn’t mince words to brand the father-son duo as “corrupt” and even opposed Vijayendra’s elevation to the party’s state chief post. Despite going against them and allegedly damaging the party’s image, the high command did not take any action against him. The Veerashaiva Lingayat leader, who hails from Panchamasali sect, was in the race for the Leader of Opposition post in the Assembly. But he missed the bus as the high command appointed the Vokkaliga face of the party and senior leader R Ashoka. 

S Somanath

Under the leadership of S Somanath, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Indian space scientists successfully carried out the country’s third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3, recording India as the only country to soft-land near the lunar south pole on August 23, 2023. He led ISRO in its maiden flight towards the Sun with the Aditya-L1 mission. With Somanath’s expertise in launch vehicle structural systems, he pushed PSLV to become a highly-sought-after launcher for microsatellites from across the world. As ISRO marks a new turn on the space frontier, Somanath shoulders the weight of India’s ambitious space plans for the Gaganyaan Mission, which will take a human crew to space, the country’s second shot at Mars, Mangalyaan-2, and the growing partnerships with NASA for the upcoming launch of the NISAR satellite.  

Urmila Rosario

Urmila Rosario, who hails from Kinnigoli in Mangaluru, was manager of Australian men’s cricket team that lifted the 2023 World Cup. A BBA graduate from Carnegie Mellon University, Urmila moved to Australia about seven years ago. A few years later, she became manager of Australia’s women’s cricket team. She was assigned the job of managing men’s cricket for the world cup. Her parents now live at their coffee estate in Sakleshpur.

BY Vijayendra 

Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra, who rose to political prominence after ensuring the BJP candidates’ victory in Sira and KR Pete by-elections in 2020, was recently appointed as the BJP state unit president. His appointment enthused a large section of party workers who were demoralised after the Assembly polls defeat, but it also upset some seniors. He will be helming the party during the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.  

Nikhil Kamath

Bengaluru-based brokerage firm Zerodha’s co-founder Nikhil Kamath made headlines in June when he signed Bill Gates-Warren Buffett-founded The Giving Pledge. At 37, he became the youngest philanthropist on The Giving Pledge and the only Indian in the list of signatories in 2023. He also emerged as the youngest philanthropist in the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy list 2023. He along with his brother Nithin Kamath donated Rs 110 crore this year.

Narayana Murthy

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s 70-hour work week comment in October sparked a debate across sectors. Many industry leaders supported his views, but others opposed it, explaining the need for work-life balance. Murthy urged the youth to work 12 hours a day to boost the country’s economy. During Infosys’ early days, Murthy worked up to 90 hours a week and reached office at 6.20 am, he said. He stressed on improving work productivity, to compete globally.

Rahul Dravid  

After his tenure with the National Cricket Academy, Rahul Dravid assumed the role of head coach for the Indian men’s cricket team, succeeding Ravi Shastri in 2021. The past year showcased the challenges and triumphs of Dravid’s coaching leadership. India ascended to the top of the Test, ODI, and T20I rankings under Dravid’s guidance. Although India finished as the runner-up in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, the team delivered a flawless performance throughout the tournament’s league stage, securing a 100 per cent win record against all nine competing teams. It reaffirmed Dravid’s title as ‘The Wall.’ As Dravid embarks on his second stint as head coach post the 2023 World Cup, all attention turns to India’s tour of South Africa, followed by a five-Test series against England at home, leading up to the T20 World Cup in June, all under his mentorship. 

Siddaramaiah  

Holding the Chief Minister’s post for the second term, Siddaramaiah announced the Congress’ poll promises - the five guarantees. As the party had reaped a better harvest in the Assembly polls, he also ensured that the funds are allocated in his budget to implement the guarantees. Often trying to prove to be the champion of AHINDA communities had triggered controversy as he stated that his government will hike allocation of Rs 4,000 crore to uplift Muslims, to Rs 10,000 crore. His statement that the government will think about lifting the ban on hijab in educational institutions also created a row.

DK Shivakumar 

On taking over as KPCC president, he, along with the then Opposition leader Siddaramaiah, boosted Congress’ morale. After winning 135 MLA seats in the May 10 Assembly polls, he emerged a strong contender for the CM’s post. The party high command is said to have promised him the CM’s post in the future. Siddaramaiah cabinet’s decision to withdraw the Disproportionate Assets (DA) case against him from the CBI probe gave him a shot in the arm.  

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