As every writer is obliged, I too am to write about the year which passed by. With a few more hours to go, it is almost time to bid adieu to 2013 and thus I shall recollect the events which made this year notable. I shall not be exaggerating if I would claim that the year has been a depressing one. On a worldwide scale, the Cyprus Bailout early in the year, put a dent in the much shaky EU financial system. Moreover, the Edward Snowden chapter raised questions on the fundamentals of human rights, while the Wikileaks latest release on the secret Transpacific Agreement further propagandizing the fact and alluded the ever-widening grip of capitalism in our lives. The ObamaCare programme fiasco and the US Shutdown marred Obama’s administration, while we are once again poised for another showdown between the Republics and the Democrats in the first half of 2014.
Closer to home, the UPA did not seem to have learnt from their earlier mistakes. The PM failed to adequately respond to allegations of him being involved in the 2G spectrum scam and the Coal Blocks allocation scam. The Food Security Bill passed in September 2013, which aimed at providing food grains at a subsidized rate was touted as a delusionary tactic in order to win over the masses before the upcoming elections. The Sand mining scam involving IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal and the NSEL scam further pointed out how incompetent the UPA 2.0 era was.
Nevertheless, the year did bring its reasons to be cheerful. The financial markets made a comeback with most indexes outperforming their corresponding debt market benchmarks; while Dow trades at all time high. The European Union finally stabilized during the latter half of the year after a rocky couple of years. Shifting focus back to my home country; as India was embroiled between a BJP – Congress war of words, there emerged another successor in the form of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal. Not that I am a stout supporter of any particular party, AAP has managed to spur a nation wide movement against corrupt leaders, which had seemed impossible until only a short while ago.
Keeping politics aside, the year was dominated by youngsters; Magnus Carlsen (aged 22) managed to defeat Vishwanathan Anand to become the youngest World Chess Champion, Eleanor Catton (aged 28) became the youngest person ever to win the Man Booker prize for her book titled ‘The Luminaries’ and Quvenzhané Wallis (aged 9) became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for Oscars amongst others
On a much personal level, Manchester United winning the Premier league earlier this year did cheer me up while Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Bezos investing in various kinds of journalism reinstated my belief in its future.
In the end, a moment for those we lost during the year; Nelson Mandela, James Gandolfini of the ‘Sopranos’ fame, Martin Richard and others who were killed during the Boston bombings amongst various other people.
Concluding the post with a hope that 2014 be memorable. Cheers!