As the first decade of the new millennium hurtles to a close, there
are lessons that we have to learn, both as individuals and as
a nation, from the troubles that beset 2010

By Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief
Most of us remember our lives not in years, months, weeks or days but in moments — as freeze frames — as if time had stood still to enable us to commit to memory every detail. Significant happenings are stored not in fast forward but in slow motion. Some of these are so vivid they do not fade in their intensity despite the passage of time — the day you got the results of your board examination, your first job offer, the way you proposed to your beloved. Some are more painful — when you first heard about the death of a dear one. Reviewing a year in the life of a great nation like India is a process no different than that of your own.

Shame and scandal
Kamlendra Kanwar
Scams rocked major spheres in 2010, from corporate corridors to the Commonwealth Games
If there is one thing for which the year 2010 would be remembered in India it is the spate of corruption scandals that shook the edifice of democracy and made us conscious of the fragility of our institutions. Scams rocked the country even as a robust Indian economy with an impressive growth rate invited the attention of a world keen to do business with a resurgent India. There were straws in the wind with inflation in full cry but overall, the economy held up.

CWG: Grace and...disgrace
Jaideep Ghosh
That the Commonwealth Games 2010 were going to be in the headlines was never in doubt, but how things panned out wasn’t exactly what Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi would have envisaged. While the event proper got due applause, the scandals in the run-up were enough to keep the issue boiling. The Games, awarded to Delhi in 2003, were a constant race against time as the projects got delayed and deadlines were set, missed and re-set, time and again.

See the pages as they were printed.
See the pages as they were printed

A divisive verdict
Sixty years after the dispute went to court, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court declared both Hindus and Muslims as joint title holders of the disputed site. The three-judge bench by a majority verdict, which ran into over 8,000 pages, ordered a three-way division between ‘Ram Lalla’, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara.

Turmoil and...
Uttam Sengupta
The idea and integrity of India was challenged by Naxalites and Kashmiri separatists during the year. For a while they seemed to have gained the upper hand but an uneasy but nevertheless welcome calm descended towards the end of the year.
Aditi Tandon
Death and terror struck Leh ahead of the tourist season, stealing its lives and livelihood, crippling its economy. For the resilient residents, life went on after they learnt a bitter lesson — never mess with nature

Towering scam
Shiv Kumar
From making a chief minister lose his chair to bringing eminent people under a cloud, the Adarsh Society scam rocked many a boat
The 31-storey building was under construction for the past several years. But it took a letter this year from the Western Naval Commander, Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, to unravel one of the more sensational scams that has led to the exit of a Chief Minister and put several prominent people and the Army as an institution on the dock.

Judiciary on the edge
V. Eshwar Anand
The judiciary’s image hit a new low this year, with charges of corruption in its top echelons
HE judiciary’s reputation hit rock bottom this year. The Supreme Court’s unprecedented and stinging indictment of the Allahabad High Court sums up the disturbing state of affairs in the judiciary. It refused to expunge its observation that there is something “rotten” in this high court. The only saving grace was its clarification that not all judges are corrupt.

Badal vs Badal
Nirmal Sandhu
The year saw Punjab’s first political family fall apart with differences between Sukhbir and Manpreet Badal coming out in the open
At 83, Parkash Singh Badal is going strong with a sharp memory and reasonably good health. His tall frame, a bit weakened by age, has weathered many a storm. This year must have been particularly tough for him, emotionally as well as politically. Caring as ever, the Punjab Chief Minister takes time off state affairs to be with his wife, Surinder Kaur, who suffers from cancer, and flies to the US for her treatment whenever required.

A famous victory
Uttam Sengupta
Nitish Kumar was among those who were instrumental in catapulting Lalu Yadav to the office of Bihar’s Chief Minister in 1990. The taciturn engineer-turned-politician was a perfect counterfoil to the flamboyant and rustic Lalu. It was not difficult to underestimate Nitish Kumar, who remains an indifferent public speaker and cannot clearly match the colourful language used by his one-time friend.

Nature’s fury, man’s folly

The day after
Syed Nooruzzaman
The Wikileaks expose triggered a diplomatic quake whose aftershocks continue
As the world was trying to recover after suffering a major economic jolt, WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower website, came out with over 2,50,000 secret US documents exposing the fading superpower in the eyes of the international community. Though the website’s Founder-Editor-in-Chief, Julian Assange, an Australian national, was arrested (now free on bail), this did not affect the release of the cables, sent to Washington DC by US diplomats posted in different capitals.

All is still well
Nirmal Sandhu
Beating the global fiscal crisis with a 9 pc growth, India was one of the stars of the world economy
If corruption spread disillusionment with the political class, a thriving economy kept hope alive, making US President Barack Obama to dub India an “emerged” economy. Thanks to the government bailout — not too large by global standards — the industry has bounced back. Credit for the faster-than-expected recovery and an excellent 9 per cent expected GDP growth this fiscal goes to the economist-led government, which handed over cash to various sections of consumers, spurring a consumption-driven expansion. Initiatives like Bharat Nirmaan and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act as well as the farmer debt waiver announced earlier fuelled rural demand for manufactured goods.

On a rollercoaster
Sanjeev Sharma
Indian Inc was on a roll but faces questions of ethics and corporate governance
The Indian economy and the corporate sector which was the envy of the world with almost 9 per cent GDP growth rate and several big M&A deals had to face tough questions on ethical deficit and corporate governance following major scams and corporate wars which showed India Inc practices in poor light. India was one of the stars of the world economy with foreign investors pumping in a record $ 28 billion, markets touching record highs of BSE Sensex at 21,000, foreign direct investment at $ 17 billion, exports on track to hit the $ 200 billion mark and corporate sector raising and investing billions as if it was small change.

‘i’ must haves
Roopinder Singh
What dominated the gadget scene in 2010 are those devices that begin with a lower case ‘i’
Users define themselves by the gadgets they possess, and those they covet. What dominated the scene in 2010 are those devices that begin with a lower case 'i'. At the top of the heap was the iPad, Apple's Tablet PC which has crossed the 75 lakh mark in sales, and emerged on must-have lists the world over. Only a trickle of the product has, however, streamed into India.

The new gold class
Jaideep Ghosh
Indian athletes and sportsmen signalled their arrival and how!
The year 2010 will surely be one of distinction when it comes to sporting events, which have long carved a rather forlorn furrow on the face of public memory. But with the Commonwealth Games taking up much attention, the people of India have learned to recognise athletes other than cricketers.

Jaideep Ghosh
The Indian maestro dominated 2010 with his record-breaking centuries
The world of cricket in 2010 was, without a doubt, ruled by Sachin Tendulkar and his records. Even for him, this was a year of distinction since he carved out two marks that are unlikely to be touched in a hurry, especially by the same batsman. While Indian cricket saw a high on the field, with individuals reaching records and the team attaining top ranking in Test cricket, the goings-on off the field weren’t so happy, especially with Lalit Modi and the Indian Premier League being in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Scream & sizzle
Mannika Chopra
From scandals to slug fests to sizzle, the small screen had viewers glued to it, for reasons right and wrong. Bellow dramas ruled
You cannot deny that it was one long, maddening year for TV. In the span of one year, we were flung from the glory of world championships — the Waka Waka World Cup and the Commonwealth Games — to the low of scams, from the pinnacles of selfless human achievement to the selfish quagmire of Me TV. For many leading lights, their dream job turned into a living nightmare as the medium turned invasive, digging up dirt on public and private malfeasance.

The page turners
Roopinder Singh
There were good books galore. From spirituality to scholarship to sex, authors took various routes to get to our bookshelves this year
INDIAN writers went places and published books galore. They experimented with themes and forms and took various routes — spirituality, scholarship, scintillating stories, sex — to get to our bookshelves in 2010. The clear star of the show is Siddhartha Mukherjee, a doctor who wrote The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, last month and has won critical acclaim while also storming onto the bestseller lists in the US. William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India took readers along on a journey into spirituality.

Bangs and duds
Saibal Chatterjee
Bollywood threw caution to the winds in 2010 and production budgets went through the roof. The results were mixed
For Mumbai’s mainstream movie industry, 2010 was a year of living dangerously. With first-time director Abhinav Kashyap’s Dabangg and the Chennai-produced Robot, spearheaded by the redoubtable Rajnikanth, popular cinema pulled out all stops and made a big bang. But the propensity for excess pushed Bollywood into indiscretions that cost the industry dear in the long run. Sanjay Leela Bhansali delivered a dud in the form of the visually stunning but strangely soulless Guzaarish, an indigenisation of Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar’s Oscar-winning The Sea Inside, about a quadriplegic magician pleading for euthanasia.


Snapshots 2010