Jan 7, 2012

Osama, Anna & the World Cup- News Events 2011

News is a subjective term. Journalists, communicators and sociologists have tried to define and interpret the term 'news' in their own ways. Despite the variance in the overall perception and definition, few characteristics remain universal in the term that has become so common in our daily lives. So, news is something that affects us directly, influences our thoughts/opinions and has certain 'proximity' and 'relativity' with us, the consumers of news.

2011 was a remarkable year in terms of news making and breaking. World, especially the Middle East, witnessed an unprecedented wave of protests against autocratic regimes, US killed the man who brought the Twin Tower down and our own Men in Blue won the Cricket World Cup at the home soil. All of this and much more shaped India's and the world's fortunes in 2011. With the new year already in full swing, its time to reflect upon 10 News Events that affected me, you and all of us the most in the year 2011-

1. Tere Bin Laden- He lived near one of the safest places in Pakistan, contrary to the popular belief that he must be hiding in caves and mountains of Afghanistan. After tracking his movements for several years, Uncle Sam finally struck, killing the World's Most Wanted Terrorist, right under the nose of an embarrassed and humiliated Pakistan. SEALs became a term synonymous with courage and US finally had something to cheer about in its War on Terror. And what about Pakistan? We all have been knowing and saying that. They are the ultimate bastards turned jokers. (Click here to read more on Laden)

2. I was alive when India Won the World Cup!- Exactly a month before Laden's killing, this dream drama unfolded at Mumbai's Wankhade Stadium. Dhoni hit the ball for a six to add that final jewel in Sachin's crown. Tears of joy, celebratory hugs, beer mugs, mad shouting- all of this followed after that memorable finale, both among the players and the fans. I had my share of fun at the India Gate. :) (Click here to read more)

3. I am Anna! to Who is Anna?- Anna Hazare, a 70-something Gandhian rose to national and global limelight for demanding a 'Strong JanLokapl' and leading an unprecedented mass protest against corruption. The sleepy middle class of India came out of its slumber and showed rare solidarity with Hazare's noble cause . Soon, metros and small cities across India were filled with angry protesters wearing 'I am Anna' caps. The UPA government buckled under pressure on few occasions, only to resume its cat and mouse game later on. After a long drawn slug fest with the government and his own over ambitiousness as well as stubborn attitude, Anna Hazare finally lost the plot towards the fag end of 2011. The anti-corruption movement as well as ailing Gandhian, now, look set to vanish in oblivion. (Read more on Anna Hazare)

4. A world of free Muslims- As most legends and romantic fables would have it, the story started when a vegetable seller set himself on fire in tiny Arab nation called Tunisia. He was not happy with autocratic president and his goons, who took away his livelihood. His sacrifice paved way for the JASMINE REVOLUTION. A first of its kind in Muslim world, at least in the recent memory. The flames of revolution reached Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria. It still threatens to engulf other Gulf nations, the iconic Monarchy of Saudi Arabia included in the list. Quite satisfactorily, social networking played a very crucial role in the build up. And we thought, Muslims only create groups on facebook to banish India, Israel, US and that Danish cartoonist. (Read more on Arab Spring)

5. End of Tyranny or the Beginning?- Rebels and the NATO forces finally hunted down Colonel Gadaffi  ending more than 4 decades of dictatorship in Libya. . He was severely beaten up, abused and finally shot in head. But the question is who gave the NATO and the US the right to kill Gadaffi? And who will care for human rights violations? Did not Gadaffi deserve a better treatment?

6. Price Rise/ Inflation- Petrol and Sachin got in an amazing duel in 2011. Who will first reach the 100 mark? However by now, we know that none of them have actually touched the coveted milestone. On a serious note, the Aam Admi suffered heavily due to rising food and petrol prices throughout the year. Government played hide and seek  by raising and lowering the petrol price as per its convenience. And of course, we know that the government has decontrolled the petrol prices and it does not have any say in fluctuation of rates. Yawn.

7. Bengal Tigress Conquers the Red Fort- No, no. I am not saying this literally. I am talking of Mamata Banerjee's historic assembly election victory in West Bengal. Didi's Trinamool-Congress Alliance drove the CPM-led Left Front out of Bengal, by securing a thumping two-third majority in the state assembly. Left's 34-year relentless rule finally ended, thanks to Banerjee's doggedness and never say never attitude. (Click here to read more on Bengal)

8. Japan Earthquake-Nuclear Disaster- World watched in utter horror as a devastating earthquake hit Japan triggering Tsunami. The quake was worst of its kind in Japan and one of the 5 most powerful earthquakes in recorded human history. Thousands of people were killed and millions were rendered homeless in this horrific natural disaster. Nuclear accidents further aggravated the situation, bringing back memories of troubled Japanese past. Many could not help but wonder is this the beginning of the end of this world?

9. Eurozone crisis-Indian bubble burst?- In 2011, European economy crumbled like a pack of cards. Greece was brought down to its knees, so were other EU giants including the UK and Italy. Back home, Indian economy also slowed down due to a dismal industrial growth and lack of reforms (FDI fiasco). Indian rupee fell sharply compared to the US dollar and the Sensex plummeted downwards. All of these developments sparked speculations about the Great Indian Story coming to an end.

10. Ra.One in your face!- Yes, Shah Rukh Khan's ambitious superhero flick Ra.One broke all the precedents by embarking on a never seen before promotional trail. Nearly two dozen brand tie-ups, 9 month promotional campaign on TV and Internet, add to it an energetic but frail King Khan hopping from city to city. Easily the most talked about and publicized Hindi film in recent memory, Ra.One went on to break some records at the Box-Office. The film set new record for highest ever collection in a single day (Rs. 25 Crore), Highest collection on Diwali day (Rs. 15 Crores approx) and highest opening weekend collection. The film received mixed reviews and garnered sharply divided opinions from the audience. (Read more on Ra.One)

I know it is very difficult to define what is important and what is not. The level of difficulty goes up b a few notches in case of 'news'. With so much happening each and every day, in all parts of the world and in all spheres of the life, it is almost impossible to keep track of everything that qualifies as news. Here, I have tried to list out all top news events not just from India but from world over/ The challenge was zero down on a few events from a sea of information. Also, let me clarify that the order of the news events does not matter, India winning World Cup may be top on your list or come further down. But I am sure, all these 10 news events must have affected you in some way or the other.

Let us hope for similarly eventful but a happier 2012!


  1. साल 2011 प्रष्टभूमी पर ..साल 2012 की नई उम्मीदो के साथ अच्छे लेखन के लिए.. बधाई आशिश...

  2. Ra.One ka diwali collection 18 crore tha! :P

    Flashback, huh? Nice. :D

  3. Lebnox- Thanks for the correction! ;) I put only the collection from Hindi version. My mistake. Thanks for reading :)