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A Year Best Forgotten?

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DQC News Bureau
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This is the last issue of DQ Channels for 2008. And as I type this, I do so

with sombre thoughts. Hailing from Mumbai, I am still to come to grips with the

carnage that the city witnessed a fortnight ago. A visit to the still bustling

area of Fort leaves me completely disoriented.

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I fail to accept that this was the place where innocent bystanders,

commuters, diners and ailing people were gunned down in cold blood for no crime

of theirs. While rushing to catch a local train at CST, the bullet ridden walls

remind me of how criminals can be so mindless and blood thirsty in their quest

for self-created religious megalomania.

There is a lot of rage that is evident in the citizens of Mumbai, including

me about what has happened. I am sure this sentiment is shared by the rest of

the nation as well. One can only hope that this rage is channelized in a

productive form and some much needed change is brought about in the failing

bureaucratic system.

In fact, when one looks back, bomb blasts set the tone for the entire year.

Be it the Jaipur blasts which left around 80 people dead or the serial bomb

blasts in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad that claimed over 50 lives.

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Xenophobia was at its zenith with the Maha Navnirman Sena ousting Bihar-based

Indian citizens from Mumbai. There was also a lot of political instability at

the center, following the Singur crisis. Prices of fuel and essential

commodities shot upwards, investments within the country came downwards.

Vinita Bhatia



vinitavs@cybermedia.co.in

These tragedies aside, 2008 was not a year that most people would like to

remember in a hurry. It was the year the US witnessed its global supremacy

challenged as it came face to face with its worst nightmare after

terrorism-recession. This was the worst, and in all likelihood, the longest

recession that the once-superpower is facing after the Great Depression of 1937.

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The Lehman Brothers closure heralded the closing of other Wall Street

companies like the proverbial pack of cards. And though Indian companies felt

they were insulated from its effects to a great extent, slowly its resonance

could be heard in the Indian industry as well.

When Tata Motors bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, the entire nation

stood up with pride. But with the ongoing slowdown, questions are beginning to

do the rounds whether Tata will be able to see this deal to the end.

These incidents almost shadowed India's achievements like the test firing of

nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile Agni I. Or of India setting a world

record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch or of Chandrayaan

entering the moon's orbit, another first for India.

But these acted as the proverbial silver lining on the dark clouds on the

horizon. While a few misguided souls tried their best to break the spirit of

India, there were others who were diligently working hard to keep that same

spirit up.

I can only hope that the new year brings some respite from this gloomy

situation. I am sure the rest of you are with me on this.

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