MAGAZINE NEW DELHI december 27 2020 SUNDAY PAGES 12 People of2020 S p e c i a l I ss u e A LOST YEAR A SHRUNKEN UNIVERSE AN INVISIBLE ENEMY I Y By Kaveree Bamzai t was an extraordinary year. The worst nightmare, brought to us by TV series and horror movies, was no longer a distant dystopia. Yet it brought into focus some amazing acts of kindness, empathy and bravery Like the teenaged Jyoti Kumari, who cycled home to Darbhanga from Gurgaon, . over 1,200 km with her injured father. Or Minal Dakhave Bhosale who gave birth to her child but not before making India’s first testing kit. As Covid-19 unleashed its full terror, exacerbated by a strict lockdown, the nation witnessed unprecedented mass migrations, of hungry, angry, desperate people. They who built our cities, looked after our children and ferried us everywhere. Yet when it came to providing them succour, hardly anyone stepped up. Those who did became instant heroes, whether it was actor Sonu Sood or chef Vikas Khanna. What did 2020 teach us? Perfect vision? Not quite. It told us how we had been looking reality in the face and yet ignoring it, whether it was climate change or the outbreak of viruses. Will the lockdowns, the curfews, the socially distanced queues, change us fundamentally, showing us the complete ridiculousness of our fast fashion and our luxury consumption? It is too early The world is yet to wake up from its stupor, lulled as it is . increasingly by cheap data into watching AI-enhanced entertainment and social media-derived news headlines. It was always burning since the world’s been turning, but yes we did start this fire. But also, we found our own firefighters. This list is not complete and exhaustive, but it does contain some of the firestarters and firefighters of 2020. Some were superheroes, others mere attention-seekers, and yet others fierce survivors. They dominated our headlines in a year that was at once deeply memorable and horribly forgettable. It was the year we learnt to live dangerously, fighting an invisible enemy, in an increasingly shrinking universe. It was the year that defeated us. ogi Adityanath 48 Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh , Hindutva Hero From offering Bollywood nationalists a haven in Uttar Pradesh to his Cabinet clearing an ordinance on ‘love jihad’, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister carried on the cultural project of RSS, often dictating national political discourse Shekhar Yadav The Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s unapologetic hardline on matters ranging from law and order in the state to inter-faith marriages has made him a Hindutva hero. He has managed, with a mixture of discreet silence and timely bureaucratic changes, to overcome the deeply embarrassing rape and murder of a young woman in Hathras. He has tried to change the narrative of Uttar Pradesh—from a backward state to one with industry-friendly labour laws, from a state which attracted film stars only when they were forced to perform at Saifai, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthplace, to one which has offered an alternative Film City in Noida, spread over 1,000 acres. By ensuring action against 800 corrupt government officers, Yogi Adityanath has kept his tough guy image intact. He has transformed his home constituency Gorakhpur from beyond badland to an investment destination. And through his law on ‘love jihad’, he has, quite consciously, set the political agenda for Assembly elections 2022.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.