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Political Round Up, 2016

…And just like that, another year goes by. 2016 has been a mighty powerful year – we have seen political changes and citizen participation like never before. The two blogs for the month of December will take us through a general political and cultural round up of the year, 2016.
India:

  • On 2nd January, heavily armed gunmen, reportedly members of Jaish-e-Mohammed, attacked an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab. This sparked the beginning of the toughest stand India has taken against neighbour Pakistan.
  • The first women batch of women fighter pilots joined the Air Force.
  • Rajya Sabha passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill that came into debate two years ago.
  • ISRO and NASA jointly launched a satellite to monitor for climate change.
  • The government withdrew Rs, 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes with immediate effect. New notes were put into circulation.

Great Britain

  • In a historic vote, Great Britain voted to leave the EU, making the much-feared ‘Brexit’ a reality. The vote was in favour of 51.9% to 48.1% leave, in a record voting turnout of 72%.
  • This led to Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation.
  • Theresa May became the second female Prime Minister to lead the country after Margaret Thatcher.

United States of America

  • Donald Trump became President Elect of the country after a long and drawn out campaign. He beat opponent Hillary Clinton. The result is also highly controversial due to Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead of nearly 3 million votes over Trump, who won via the Electoral College.
  • A series of unfortunate and hatred filled shootings took place all over the country, from Baltimore to Ohio State University in the course of the year.
  • The police were under great scrutiny over the unwarranted killing of three African-American youths in Charlotte.
  • President Obama became the first American president to visit Hiroshima since the bombing of the city during the Second World War.

China

  • China successfully launched the world’s first quantum satelliteQUESS” from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gobi Desert
  • Chinese regulators introduce a circuit breakerin an attempt to prevent stock market crashes, halting trade.

 Pakistan

  • A suicide bomb attackerkilled 14 people and injured 20 more near a polio centre near the Pakistani city of Quetta on 13 January. Many more bombings were reported through the course of the year, such as the ones in Peshawar, Lahore and Charsaddha.
  • Humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, God to many, passed away. a life devoted to serving the needs of Pakistan’s poor — turned Edhi into a national icon. His foundation, established just four years after Pakistan’s 1947 birth, has functioned ever since as a sanctuary for the country’s most impoverished citizens. The Edhi Foundation runs ambulances, medical clinics, and orphanages, and provides immediate and effective aid after earthquakes and other natural disasters

The one thing that has stayed steady amidst all this chaos is hope. Hope for a more engaged tomorrow, hope to interact and engage with a listening government and a hope to change.
All of us at Desh Apnayen are working with schools, teachers and young adults to make sure that our future is full of active, energetic, aware and conscious citizens who consider engaging with the nation their civic duty. In the same vein, we urge you to promise yourself three things you will do differently to make the society around you more peaceful, more engaged and more supported.
Jai Hind.

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