Major milestones that shaped India in 2022

INTRO: The year 2022 began with Indians breathing Covid-free air after facing two years of restrictions. It saw many events, achievements, decisions, disputes, and raging controversies. While some saw shifting of political equations, some saw India leaving a strong global footprint with its robust foreign policy and assertive diplomacy.

As we usher in 2023, let’s look back at the major milestones that shaped India this year:

G20 Presidency

In a historic moment, India formally assumed the G20 Presidency from December 1 and will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country in 2023.

As a nation deeply committed to “democracy and multilateralism”, India wants to play an important role by finding pragmatic global solutions for the wellbeing of all, and in doing so, manifest the true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the ‘World is One Family’.

Assembly elections

The states of Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat went to election in 2022. While the BJP won five states, Congress received victory only in Himachal Pradesh. The biggest surprise came from Punjab where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged victorious, dislodging Congress.

AAP also won the Delhi Municipal corporation election ending BJP’s dominance of 15 years in the civic body.

India-China clashes

More than 200 Chinese soldiers transgressed the Line of Actual Control and clashed with Indian troops in the Yangtse area of Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9. While there were injuries on both sides, no fatalities were reported from the Indian side.

India-Pakistan barbs at UN

While India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar described Pakistan as the “epicenter of terrorism,” his Pakistani counterpart labeled the Indian PM as “the butcher of Gujarat”.

India and Pakistan have made cross-accusations on the promotion of terrorism in recent days describing the comments of Islamabad as “uncivilized,” in what is a new episode of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Bharat Jodo Yatra

A mass movement started by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to mobilize party cadres and the general public by taking a journey on foot from Kanyakumari, the southern tip of the peninsula, to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, spanning 3,570 kilometers over 150 days.

The yatra garnered massive support, including former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan joining hands with him.

Central probe agencies

It was an unprecedented year for the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI). Throughout the year 2022, these agencies were involved in raids and arrests across India.

They grilled top leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manish Sisodia, DK Shiva Kumar and several others. ED arrested Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, AAP Minister Satyendar Jain, and former Maharashtra Ministers- Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik.

Morbi bridge collapse

On October 30, a pedestrian suspension bridge over the Machchhu River in the city of Morbi in Gujarat, collapsed, causing the deaths of at least 135 people and injuries to more than 180 others.

Karnataka hijab row

The hijab row came to the fore on January 1 at a college in Udupi, where six female students claimed that they were not allowed to enter classrooms wearing the veil. This led to protests across the state and snowballed into a major controversy.

The Karnataka High Court upheld the ban on hijab by the educational institutes on March 15. 2022. The court ruled that hijab is not an essential religious practice under Islam and, hence, is not protected by the Article 25 of the Constitution setting out the fundamental right to practice one’s religion.

The Shiv Sena split

In June, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde led a revolt against his own party. He along with dozens of MLAs flew to Guwahati. An absolute filmy drama was staged by Shiv Sena leaders which ended with the collapse of the ruling MVA government. Uddhav Thackeray had to resign from the CM post. Shinde took oath as Maharashtra CM with the support of BJP.

Bilkis Bano case

The Gujarat government approved the premature release of 11 men who were convicted for the gangrape of Bilkis Bano, a pregnant Muslim woman, and murder of 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter during 2022 Hindu-Muslim riots.

The pleas challenging the early release of the convicts are listed to be heard before the Supreme Court on January 4, 2023

Agnipath protests

In June, the government introduced a short-term recruitment policy, the Agnipath scheme, for Indian youth to serve in the armed forces. The scheme was criticized for failing to provide recruits with permanent jobs or healthcare benefits after they retire.

Violent protests were witnessed in several parts of the country, including Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as defense jobseekers voiced concerns over job security and pension.

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