2016 was packed with drama.
Right from January to December there were several landmark moments that shook India with people making news for the right, as well as the wrong reasons.
A brave woman shone silver at the Rio Olympics, while a man won a beauty pageant.
News presenters themselves became news, while staid political leaders turned scandalous. Late in the year, the suicide of a former soldier sent ripples through the administration, before Prime Minister Modi jolted the nation en masse with his radical demonetisation policy. Here's a quick recap of people who made headlines in 2016.
After it appeared that India's largest-ever contingent would return empty-handed from the Rio Olympics, our women came to the rescue. Sakshi bagged a bronze in wrestling to end the drought, soon after which Sindhu added a priceless badminton silver to the tally. Dipa Karmakar, who did not win a medal, created history by becoming the first Indian female gymnast - and the first Indian in 52 years — to compete in the Olympics. She finished 4th and missed out on a medal by a whisker. Woman wrestler Vinesh Phogat too performed exceedingly well to reach the quarterfinals, but was stopped short by an unfortunate injury. With their outstanding performances, Indian women did the country proud at the Olympics, even as the men faltered.
While the women were busy winning laurels at the Olympics, Hyderabad model Rohit Khandelwal became the first Indian to be crowned Mr World. The finale saw 47 contestants from around the globe competing for the coveted title. Khandelwal also won the award for Mr. World Multimedia at the event. Before embarking on his modeling career, he worked with SpiceJet and Dell Computers.
Jayalalithaa, or rather her absence, sent Tamil Nadu - and indeed media houses and politicians — into a tizzy. Amma was admitted to hospital on September 22, when she complained of fever and dehydration. She was later put on respiratory support. While doctors since have repeatedly stated that her condition is improving - with latest reports indicating that she is finally out of the ICU - there is still no photographic proof or a statement from the woman herself. Her fans, meanwhile, have been praying fervently for her recovery and conducting pujas for her well being. In her absence, Jaya's portfolios were reallocated to Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam, apparently on her own advice.
The tables have turned, and how! Now, the nation wants to know where Arnab Goswami is. The firebrand anchor of one of Indian television's most widely watched shows, Goswami resigned from Times Now in October, ending his association with the iconic 'Newshour' famous for its bold and confrontational approach. Speculations are rife about his plans. There is also a theory that he is joining hands with Australian media mogul Robert Murdoch. Well, in Arnab's own words, "the game has just begun".
Ex-army man Ram Kishan Grewal committed suicide on November 2 over delay in implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme. Grewal retired as a Subedar in the Defence Security Corps after serving in the unit for 28 years. He fiercely fought for the implementation of OROP and led many protests. His suicide caused uproar in New Delhi and the Opposition was quick to blame the Centre. Cops detained Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal when they came to meet the bereaved family. Kejriwal announced a compensation of 1 crore to the family and a plea was filed to give Grewal 'martyr' status.
With his unfailingly shocking comments, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy is almost always in the news. Here's a roundup of some of his unique views through the year past: -On the Tata-Mistry war: 'Ratan Tata is the most corrupt chairman in Tata history' -On Arun Jaitely wearing a coat and tie to China: 'BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters' -On Raghuram Rajan: 'Rajan unfit to be RBI Governor' While senior BJP leaders have been upset, Swamy continues to tweet his views unabashedly.
AAP was in the news throughout the year — for all the wrong reasons — and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal led his party in making noise. A look at AAP's 2016 newsmakers: -Sandeep Kumar: A video of the minister in a 'compromising' position with two women was leaked to media organisations. Kumar first said he isn't the person in the video. Then said he was being framed. Then clarified that the videotaped activity was consensual. Go figure. -Somnath Bharti: Charges of rioting, molestation and outraging a woman's modesty were filed against him with the Delhi police. -Jitendra Singh Tomar: The former Minister of Law and Justice in the Delhi cabinet was removed following allegations that he had submitted fake degree certificates. -Bhagwant Mann: Video streamed parliamentary proceedings and posted it on social media, thus compromising the security and sanctity of the Parliament. -Arvind Kejriwal: Accused Lt Governor Jung of acting on the Central Government's behalf and called the Delhi police PM Modi's 'agents'.
This list would be incomplete without Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From his fateful November 8 announcement to ban 500 and 1000 rupee notes to boldly ordering cross-border surgical strikes against Pakistan, the man dominated the airwaves and was the staple of ‘charchas’ country wide, all year round.