1. Chandrayaan 2 launch and landing
2019 has been a pretty eventful year. A lot has happened in India on the political, science and technology, defense, sports, and entertainment front. As we gear up to welcome 2020, here’s taking a look at all the major moments of 2019 that dominated headlines.
Chandrayaan 2 had eyes and hopes of 130 crore Indians were glued to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Moon Mission for no other space agency in the world has commissioned to reach the Moon’s south pole! 47 days after it was launched on 22 July 2019, Vikram, Chandrayaan-2 lander was to a soft landing on the lunar surface. However, ISRO lost contact with Vikram and its debris were found later.
2. #Article370 abrogated
Article 370 was abolished by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government and announced Home Minister Amit Shah, of the NDA government on 5 August 2019. Article 370 was revoked through Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019, consented and duly signed by President Ram Nath Kovind. The new move says that not only will the state of #JammuAndKashmir no longer enjoy a ‘special status’ but also that the laws under the Indian Constitution shall apply to J&K hereafter. The decision was hailed by several celebrities including Dia Mirza and Mohit Raina who featured in ZEE5 Original Kaafir that is based on the Kashmir conflict.
3. Section 377 decriminalised
The Supreme Court of India, in a watershed judgement, decriminalized a part of 158-year-old Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 2018. Providing relief to the LGBTQA community, the Apex Court ended a part of the century and a half old law by a five-judge Constitution bench passed the judgment. New ZEE5 original film 377 अब Normal traces the very events that led up to this historic long-pending victory.
4. The Ayodhya verdict
On 17 November 2019, the Supreme Court Bench spearheaded by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi delivered a verdict in the decades old Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi conflict. The court ordered that the disputed land in Ayodhya should be given to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas for Ram temple. The Muslim community should be compensated with five acres of land at a prominent place in Ayodhya for a mosque. The court also ordered the central government to formulate a scheme within three months to implement the verdict.
5. Triple Talaq
#TripleTalaqBill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 30 July 2019, with a majority of 99 votings in favour and 84 against the historic move. For those not in the know, Triple Talaq allows Muslim husbands to divorce their wives by uttering the word talaq thrice. The pronouncements can be made during a single tuhr (when the woman is not menstruating). The three utterances can be oral or written, or even via electronic means inclusive of telephone, SMS, email or social media. This type of Islamic divorce is irrevocable.
However, the Upper House passed the bill and it will now be a non-bailable criminal offence.
6. Uddhav Thackeray becomes Maharashtra's Chief Minister
53 years after Shiv Sena was formed, a member of the Thackeray family, Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 28 November 2019. After losing the post of Devendra Fadnavis following a BJP-NCP alliance, a shocking turn of events led to Thackeray formally taking charge as the new CM and head of Maha Vikas Aghadi of Sena, NCP and Congress.
7. Transgender bill
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was recently passed by the Rajya Sabha amid opposition from the trans community. The bill now awaits the President’s nod to be made into a law. However, the community has expressed their unhappiness over the failures of the bill and want their voice to be heard.
8. Section 144 implemented in Aarey Colony
Widespread protests were observed after trees at city’s prime green lung Aarey Colony were being cut to pave way for metro car shed. Section 144 was imposed and the protesters were arrested, with cases being filed against them. While the court maintained status quo after hearing a PIL, new CM Uddhav Thackeray has ordered to withdraw all cases against the protesters.
9. Jet Airways shuts shop
Debt-ridden airlines Jet Airways shut shop and lost its wings after a 25-year-long run. Hundreds of employees were laid off, weren’t paid salaries for months. Albeit the planes are now being run on bourses, the company went bankrupt.
10. Pulwama attack, IAF Pilot Abhinandan captured
On February 14, 40 CRPF officers were killed in Pulwama, after a suicide bomber rammed his truck into a bus, carrying the soldiers. India was quick to retaliate and conducted a surgical strike within 10 days of the attack, where 2000 Mirage aircraft by the Indian Air Force were sent to wipe out nearly 3000 terror camps in Balakot. . The nation was shook when it was learnt that Pakistan struck back by capturing IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. There were videos released on his capture and India prayed and worked towards his safe return. After nearly 3 days of captivity, the pilot was released and brought back home.
11. Citizenship Amendment Act protests
The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019 in an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955. The new act specifies a path to Indian citizenship for religious minorities from the predominantly Muslim countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Six minorities are specified in the bill: Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
To obtain citizenship under the amended law, an applicant must have entered India by 31 December 2014, and have suffered “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin. The amendment also relaxes the residence requirement for naturalization of these migrants from 11 years to five.According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, over 30,000 migrants, almost all Hindu or Sikh, may be expected to benefit from the amended Citizenship Act.
Passage of the legislation caused large scale protests in India with several secular and Muslim groups opposing the CAA citing religious discrimination.
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