1. Didi phenomenon – Mamata Banerjee painted Bengal green as she unseated the longest-serving (34 years) elected Communist government on the planet & gave a major blow to mainstream communism in India. Didi called this HISTORIC win as the victory of ‘Maa, Maati & Maanush’ saying “I bow down my head to my people”.
2. Kolaveri Di – Dhanush made the entire nation sing along as he came up with this ‘Tanglish’ peepy number. It narrowed the gap between North & South India as even the Punjabis crooned ‘Why this Kolaveri Di’. And with over 20 million hits so far on You Tube it created history when it comes to Indian music. No wonders, CNN calls it song of the year.
3. Team Anna – Hate him or love him but this 74 year old man brought the government on it’s knees. And after 48 years the Lokpal Bill saw light of the day. And when was the last time you saw the parliament & MP’s work till midnight? Anna Hazare changed the whole Indian politics in 2011.
4. World Champions – Cricket is religion in India and along with Bollywood it ‘unites’ India. And 2011 was indeed historic for all the fans. India regained the coveted Cricket World Cup after 28 years as they crushed Sri Lanka with a six-wicket win. The World Cup title triumph made even a non-cricket fan like me cry!
5. Flash Mobs – It won’t be wrong if we declare 2011 as the ‘Year of Flash Mobs’. It all started with Mumbai when 200 dancers broke into a ‘seemingly’ impromptu dance performance at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. It became a rage as videos and pictures went viral on Facebook, You Tube and Twitter. Many other cities (Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad) tried hopelessly to copy the trend and only Kolkata came up with not only a decent but even better flash mob video than Mumbai.
6. We the Indifferent – 24-year-old Keenan Santos and his 29-year-old friend Reuben Fernandez were stabbed to death as they tried to stand up against eve teasers. None of the onlookers dared to stepped forward and watched the duo die quietly. It was a blot on the society of which we all are a part of!
7. Mumbai Blasts – The ghost of serial blasts came back to haunt Mumbai terror struck it yet again in 2011. 27 were killed and over 131 injured after explosions rocked Mumbai on July 13 within minutes of each other. And thankfully, nobody talked about the “spirit” of Mumbaikars.
8. Osama Killed – The most-wanted terrorist on the planet was hunted down and killed. Osama bin Laden’s death translated into probably the biggest breaking news of 2011 and what made it even bigger was the dramatic manner in which Operation Osama was carried out. Also, this I believe is the ONLY thing which Obama can boast off. Otherwise, I doubt if he has done anything worth remembering in his tenure till now.
9. Indian Grand Prix – So what, if Aunty ji’s were busy making sweaters sitting in the stands. So what, if critics argued about the ‘need’ for F1 race as many Indians sleep hungry. Keeping all the cynicism aside, India rose meteorically in the international sports arena as Formula One carnival made a pit-stop at Greater Noida.
10. Slap Gate – If hurling shoes at politicans was the fashion in 2010; 2011 saw a new fad of slapping ministers. Harvinder Singh slapped Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture in public. Many people cheered & supported him but it’s time we introspect that why we, as a society are becoming intolerant. And even more pathetic was when Sharad Pawar’s party members created ruckus by burning buses & attacking Sikh shopkeepers.
11. Ghoonghat Act – Kiran Bedi took everyone by surprise when she hid her face behind a “ghoonghat” in mockery of politicians hiding behind masks at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. Though she saw scathing criticism from all sides but if you ask ME; I loved her act. It was very entertaining 😀
12. Jet Shoes – This was probably the most bizarre news of 2011 when a US cable leaked that ‘Behen’ Mayawati sent an empty private jet to get a pair of her favorite sandals from Mumbai. Critics accuse her of self-glorification. She accuses them of conspiring as she is a ‘Dalit’ . Of course to believe or not to believe is up to us!
13. Beti B – No big deal and I never really wanted to include it in my list but then I am NOT India and India very much gave a fuck about Aishwaraya’s pregnancy. Yet to be named ‘Beti B’ remains probably the only child whose arrival was awaited with baited breaths.
14. Google Plus – Google planned to take on Facebook and Twitter by launching it’s new social networking site Google +. And even though it saw a large number of people making accounts on the site; overall it was a colossal disappointment and failure.
15. Ra.One – If it comes to films then India will always remember Ra.one as the costliest & most promoted film ever and probably the shittiest film of the year. Oh wait! That slot is reserved for Salman Khan. Shah Rukh Khan took marketing to a new level with this & also tried to do something ‘new’ on Indian celluloid.
16. Democracy Raped – As much as I disagree with Baba Ramdev & his antics but government’s midnight crackdown on Ramdev and his camp was one of the saddest days of Indian Democracy and it even saw a woman ‘Rajbala’ die because of the same. Next was Anna, Kiran Bedi & Kejriwal’s arrest and them being sent to Tihar. Right to protest; freedom of expression raped by government. Last but not the least, the ‘Fleedom’ in Rajya Sabha where government avoided voting on Lokpal Bill as it was set to lose. UPA clearly had a bad year.
17. Year of Tihar – 2011 saw many corrupt leaders getting arrested and all thanks to the opposition, media & Supreme Court. Kanimozhi, A. Raja, Suresh Kalmadi, Yeddyurappa, Amar Singh and MANY more were the guests at Tihar jail.
18. Jasmine Revolution – Deriving its name from the country’s national flower, the revolution in Tunisia, began with protests over rising food prices and finally culminated in the end of the dictatorial regime of President Zine El Abidine Ali. The revolution spread to other parts of Middle East also like Egypt and Libya and is still fighting for democracy. Questions can be raised on their “secular” nature but cynicism can be kept aside for once. No?
19. Year of Goodbyes – 2011 will always be remembered as the year that took away many legends. Whether it was music ( Amy Winehouse, Bhimsen Joshi, Jagjit Singh, Bhipen Hazarika, Sultan Khan), arts ( M.F. Hussain, Mario Miranda), cinema (Dev Ananad, Shammi Kapoor), cricket (Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi), Steve Jobs and many more. RIP!
20. Year I met Shabana Azmi – Last but not the least, I will remember 2011 as the year when I met the best actor in the country; someone whose films I breathe. And what made it even more special was the fact that all this happened through twitter. So all the time I wasted tweeting was worth it! 😀
P.S. – The ‘moments’ are NOT ranked. So there is NO Number 1 or Number 2. Just 20 moments from 2011! And on that note Happy 2012 !! 🙂