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19 biggest impacts of the last decade in India

On September 29, 2016, India launched surgical strikes against militant launch pads across the LoC and claimed to have killed 35-70 Pak-trained Islamic fighters.

Published: 18th August 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2019 08:11 PM   |  A+A-

Rise of Modi

For the first time after Indira Gandhi won her massive mandate in 1971, another indomitable leader rose in 2014 to reshape the country’s political and economic destiny.

People voted for Narendra Modi first and BJP second. The NaMo cult has swept India’s gestalt, creating a national ethos of aggression against the country’s enemies and an unprecedented patience in waiting for the economic rewards to come.

Zero Tolerance for Terror

On September 29, 2016, India launched surgical strikes against militant launch pads across the LoC and claimed to have killed 35-70 Pak-trained Islamic fighters.

The terrorist attacks in Pulwama and retaliatory action by the Indian Air Force in Balakot established the no-nonsense attitude of the BJP-led government and created a wave of national pride which guaranteed Modi a second term.

The uncompromising approach to militancy has won the BJP admirers, sick of previous government’s pussyfooting over minority concerns.

India Becomes a Space Power

On March 27, India became the fourth country in the world to successfully test an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon.

The government set aside $1.43 billion for a first manned mission to space by 2022.

Last month, ISRO launched Chandrayaan II towards the south pole of the Moon, where the probe will search for water and examine the possibility of space colonisation.

Banking Crimes

NPAs are nuking the banking sector, caused by business barons defaulting on loans given by conniving public bankers and bureaucrats. Reputations fell as tycoons like Vijay Mallya fled, only to face extraditon.

India has the second highest ratio of NPAs among the major economies of the world and about 85 per cent of these come from public sector banks.

The Indian Citizen is Defined

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, provides Indian citizenship to non-Muslims—Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis—from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan where they face persecution.

The government is identifying illegal immigrants from across the border who avail social benefits with political help.

The National Register of Citizens has caused perturbation in Assam as millions of people became aliens in a place they called home.

Rich India, Poor India

Despite tall claims of India becoming a $3 trillion economy by 2019-20, made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, economic inequality is rising.

An Oxfam study claims that the top one per cent of the population holds 73 per cent of the country’s wealth while the wealth of 67 crore citizens who belong to poorer demographic rose by a mere one per cent.

At the same time, India is home to 119 billionaires who own $400 billion.

The DeMo Effect

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes overnight, turning billions into useless pieces of paper.

Indians were expected to bear with the government as ATMs ran out of money and withdrawal limits were set.

But DeMo, criticised as a disaster by the Opposition and the media, only cemented Modi’s image among the poor as a corruption fighter taking on black money. The BJP swept the UP elections later.

Heroes are Redefined

Chocolate heroes are not just the main draws in cinema. Starting with Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal have opened the door to heroes with brain and brawn who do not depend on botox and hair transplants to make their impact.

They don’t have to be macho either; Ayushmann Khurrana is doing pretty well for himself.

In Yogi’s Land

Even a decade back, one would have shaken his head in disbelief if told that a saffron-robed high priest of a powerful cult would head the government in the Hindi heartland.

But Ajay Singh Bisht, known famously as Yogi Adityanath, changed all that in March 2017.

He rode to power on the back of the Modi wave and Uttar Pradesh became the unchallenged continent of Hindutva. He is the second most important mascot of Hindutva after NaMo.

One Tax for All

The Goods and Services Tax, or GST, which came into effect on July 1, 2017, is seen a the most important tax reform in India. The tax slab rates are divided in five headers: 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. It is expected to boost tax revenues under ‘One Tax One Country.’

Netflix and Chill

YouTube and international streaming giants such as Netflix and Prime Video and Hotstar have taken entertainment in India away from the tyranny of paid TV channels.

They have also brought exposure to different cultures and countries through international shows being aired.

Bollywood sees it as the new money-making domain and has already cornered a large chunk of funds for pet projects.

Blood on the Streets

A spate of mob attacks across India in the name of cow vigilantism coincided with BJP’s accent to power. What started with the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in September 2015, in Uttar Pradesh, has risen to 44 mob-related deaths.

About 280 people have been injured in more than 100 such attacks between May 2015 and December 2018, says a report. It has brought the BJP and its leaders bad press abroad, and criticism from Modi.

Home Delivery Makes the Call

Apps have revolutionised the service sector. It is the age of instant coffee and Zomato is no different. At the same time, Harshika Pandya is changing the company’s employee diversity quota.

Having tried her hand at back-office jobs, the arts graduate from Surat wanted to do something different and Zomato was the answer.

She signed up as delivery agent in 2018. “My brother supported me, but my mother was not happy initially,” adds the 39-year-old. “I feel happy that I am able to bring joy to others,” she smiles.

Climate Calamity

According to the latest UN assessment, climate change is likely to make rainfall erratic, lead to rising seas and make extreme weather events frequent. In 2018-19, 2,400 Indians lost their lives to extreme weather conditions, according to the environment ministry.

These events are increasing in both frequency and intensity, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Ironically, India has no national study on the impact of climate change, although about 600 million people are at risk.

IT Tumbles

According to industry lobby group Nasscom, India’s IT exports are estimated to have risen 9.2 per cent in FY19, faster than the previous fiscal. The question staring major IT firms is whether the growth will scale down now.

Reason: there is a global slowdown with most reporting poorer results for the present quarter. Also, India—the back end of the world’s IT services—saw major layoffs.

Sex, Prey, Devotion
 
The sex and spirituality combine got a bad rep after godmen such as Ram Rahim Singh, Rampal Singh Jatin, Asaram Bapu, Swami Nithyananda, among many others, were exposed as sexual predators.

Their power had earned them political connections, which strengthened the belief that they were above the law, thanks to the vote banks they commanded. People are being more careful.

The AAP Phenomenon

The India Against Corruption spearheaded by Anna Hazare and his Team Anna, comprising Arvind Kejriwal in late 2011, led to the formation of the newest personality centric political party with a neo-welfare agenda.

It galvanised the middle class, brought NRIs as workers and made autorickshaw drivers a new constituency but the euphoria soon evaporated after confrontations between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and New Delhi.

In power in Delhi since 2015, AAP hopes to be back in 2020.

Digital Depths

Digital India has been the pet focal point of PM Modi in his New India push. He is aided in this endeavour by industrialist Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd which has already crossed the 340-million subscriber mark.

BHIM-UPI app that unifies payments interface and the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme has changed the nature and methods of financial transaction and communication.

Skyfall

Indian airlines industry continues its now routine pattern of boom and bust. Prestigious brands fell from the sky to the block, but buyers are scarce.

After the crash of Kingfisher, Jet Airways is down. After Air India was merged with Indian Airlines, the debt-ridden national carrier riddled with corruption and incompetence is finally for sale.


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