2021 was a terrifying and bizarre kind of year. If 2020 was shocking, 2021 had most of us battling with uncertainty, thanks to the pandemic which made people all over the world struggle for existence.
The year 2021 started with Indian farmers continuing their protest against the controversial Farm Bills. Their protests saw many ups and downs throughout the year, with provoked instances of violence on the Republic Day as well as killings at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.
New US President
2021 also started with a significant shift of power in the US as Joe Biden was elected its 46th president. It was followed by an incident that shocked the world when a mob of ex-president Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
2nd Covid Wave
The year also began with a gradual unlock after an extended Covid-19 lockdown. The cases had reduced, and there was hope that the world would return to its usual existence. It all changed in May with the second wave of Covid-19. The mutated SARS-CoV-2, Delta variant, spread at alarming rates.
Soon a huge development in the vaccines for Covid-19 led to massive vaccination drive all over the world. On 21st October, the Indian Government claimed it had administered one billion doses in less than a year.
2021 witnessed an outstanding performance by Indian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The country bagged seven medals in the Olympics and 19 medals in Paralympics. This became a solid push for the growth of sports in India.
Endgame in Afghanistan
The monumental stint of American forces in Afghanistan came to an end in 2021. The Taliban captured the major capitals and on 15th August took control of Kabul. The re-emergence of the Taliban resulted in the mass exodus of refugees and exacerbated the already present humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Spying via Pegasus
A leaked database of an Israeli surveillance technology firm NSO Group that sells a spyware called Pegasus (spyware) stunned the world in July. It was revealed that more than 300 Indians were put under surveillance through Pegasus.
2021 witnessed the real dangers of climate change through natural disasters like Uttarakhand floods and cyclones Tauktae and Yaas in India, the heat wave in Canada, and wildfires in Greece. The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow agreed to take steps to reduce the effects of climate change.
TATA take over Air India
In October, TATA Group won the bid for acquiring a 100% stake in Air India. It was a homecoming moment for the national carrier that was started by the TATA Group. The deal also reflected the government’s commitment to disinvestment.
Blocking of Suez Canal
In an extraordinary incident, Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world got stuck in Suez Canal. It evoked wonder, jokes, and memes around the world while disrupting the global trade for six days in March. The blockade resulted in huge economic losses around the world.
A coup d’état in Myanmar began on 1st February when leaders of the ruling National League for Democracy were deposed and arrested by the military. It resulted in public protests around the country and international condemnations.
Bollywood in News
Actor Kangana Ranaut’s Twitter account was permanently suspended over hate speech, while superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan khan was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau. Raj Kundra, the spouse of icon Shilpa Shetty was arrested on charges of making pornographic content.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Prince Philip, feminist icon Bell Hooks, singer Narendra Chanchal, actors Siddharth Shukla, Puneeth Rajkumar, and Dilip Kumar, politicians Kalyan Singh, Buta Singh, Ajit Singh, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Virbhadra Singh, activist Sunderlal Bahuguna and Stan Swamy, athlete Milkha Singh, cricketer Yashpal Sharma, photojournalist Danish Siddiqui were among many notable personalities who departed this year.
As 2021 Ended
In December, a special unit of the Indian Army mistakenly opened fire against civilians in Mon district of Nagaland and resultant clashes between civilian protestors and forces left 15 civilians and one soldier killed, whereas the farmers called off their protest after the government agreed to their demands. The same month, Indian model Harnaaz Sandhu won Miss Universe.
The Days Ahead
While the end of the year festivities begin, there is an unsettling fear about the Omicron variant, more so after the grave effects of the Delta variant. Meanwhile, India is preparing for elections in the major states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttarakhand.