India's Top News Events in 2013

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By Johnlee Varghese | December 30, 2013 4:08 AM EST

Nirbhaya: Delhi Bus Rape

The brutal rape of a 23-year old medical student in the Indian capital shook the whole nation, intensifying protests across the country. The rape incident took place on December 16,2012 but following her death on December 28, the protests spilled across the country and continued on till January. There is no country in the world that actually can claim to have witnessed protests against rape on the scale of India. But sadly the number of rapes being reported in the country has only increased in 2013.

Afzal Guru Hanging

After being on the death row for 10 years since his conviction, Afzal Guru,who was hanged for masterminding the 2001 Indian Parliament on February 9. The hanging was carried out with utmost secrecy and his body was buried in Tihar jail complex in Delhi. The Ministry of Home Affairs had rejected Guru's petition in 2011 and forwarded it to Pratibha Patil, who was President at that time. But before the Centre gave a go-ahead for the hanging, security across the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, was beefed up to avert any backlash.

Uttarakhand Disaster

Uttarakhand Disaster left over 5,700 dead

The north Indian state of Uttarakhand witnessed the most deadly disaster since the 2004 tsunami in June. The flash flood devasted the entire topography of the hilly region and of final figure, over, 5700 are 'presumed dead.' The catastrphoe left over a lakh of pilgrims and tourists stranded. From 14 to 17 June, the region received rainfall which was about 375 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon. The searching for bodies of the missing continued till September, but till now only 556 bodies have been recovered.

BJP Announces Narendra Modi as PM candidate

Narendra Modi as PM candidate

Narendra Modi was official announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate for Indian general election, 2014 on September 13. Modi was a key strategist for the BJP in the successful 1995 and 1998 Gujarat. A controversial figure both within India and internationally, he has been severely criticized for the 2002 Gujarat violence. Despite his negative image, Modi has been able to garner larger mass support, thanks, to his able PR team and remains a stronger contender for the 2014 elections.

Mission Mars:Mangalyaan

Mission Mars:Mangalyaan lift off on November 5

India's first mission to Mars that was into Earth orbit on Novermber 5, saw it becoming the part of the elite club along with the United States, Europe and Russia, whose probes have orbited or landed on Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan is currently on a 300 day mission to Mars that it will be entering in Septerber 2014. With its cheap technology, India is encouraged and hopes to capture more of the $304-billion global space market, which includes launching satellites for other countries. 

Aarushi - Hemraj Double Murder Case

Aarushi's Parents

After five-and-a-half years of twists and turns, the Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj double murder case finally reached a conclusion on November 26, when the court found her parents guilty of the murder. The Ghaziabad court sentenced her parents to life imprisonment along with an additional five years for causing disappearance of evidence.
Aarushi Talwar, the 14-year old daughter of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur, was found dead with her throat slit in the bedroom of her flat in Noida on May 16, 2008. The first suspect was the domestic help Hemraj, a Nepalese national,however, later even he was found murdered.

God of cricket, Sachin's Retirement

Sachin's Retirement

One of the all-time greats of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 24-year-old career. Sachin Tendulkar, who is considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket and put on the same pedestil with the legendary Sir Donald Bradman. Sachin Tendulkar played his last and 200th test match against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on November 16. Hours after Sachin Tendulkar retired from his long cricketing career, the Indian government bestowed him with the country's highest civilian award - the Bharat Ratna.

377 criminalizes LGBT

377 criminalizes LGBT

The Supreme Court on December 11 upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC that makes gay sex a punishable offence. Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence entailing punishment up to life term. It is a British colonial-era law dating back to the 1860s when Britain ruled India, stating that ''whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal'' can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC makes gay sex a criminal offence entailing punishment up to life term. The ruling is a huge setback for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, as the Supreme Court ruling has set aside the 2009 Delhi High Court order that had decriminalised consensual gay sex.

A common man becomes Delhi Chief Minister

'Aam Adami' Arvind Kejriwal becomes Delhi Chief Minister

Arvind Kejriwal with his political party - the Aam Aadmi Party that was formed in 2012, barely after a year defeated a veteran politician, Sheila Dixit, and has become the Chief Minister of Delhi. Starting from the grassroot, his victory at the political high-places has brought in much hope for the Indians across the country. The 45-year old Chief Minister of Delhi took the oath of office on December 28, in a mega event that held was at Ramlila Maidan and was witnessed by a crowd of two lakh. With his focus primarily on fighting corruption and improving the political system, the former Indian Revenue Service officer has come to represent a 'new hope for India.'

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