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30 moments from India in 2018

By Rediff News
January 02, 2019 08:57 IST
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From the Aadhaar verdict to #MeToo's arrival in the country to women's entry into the Sabarimala temple, India had a newsworthy 2018.
As we step into 2019, some moments from the year gone by.

Kindly click on the image below to view the photographs in full screen.


On January 12, the four senior-most Supreme Court judges -- Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- held a press conference in the national capital, an event never seen before in India's judicial history.

The four judges said there was an immediate need to preserve the judiciary in the country if democracy had to be protected.

While many hailed the move, some questioned the judges's need to address the nation.

Nonetheless, the presser was indisputably an event no one will forget in a long time to come.
Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hindi film Padmaavat prompted protests across north India.

The protests turned violent in January with protesters attacking shops, vandalising cinemas, burning vehicles.
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

In one of the many firsts this year, a women contingent from the Border Security Force performed motorcycle stunts during the Republic Day parade drawing one of the loudest cheers from the audience.

Led by Sub-Inspector Stanzin Noryang, the BSF team showcased its skills with daredevil stunts like Salute to President, Fish Riding, Side Riding, Faulaad, Prachand Baalay Shaktiman, Mobile PT, Bull Fighting...
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Veterinarians tend to a wounded female elephant who was hit by a train near the Habaipur railway station in Hojai district, Assam.

According to wildlife experts, India has the highest number of train accidents involving elephants in the world.

Between 2009-2010 and 2016-2017, approximately 655 elephant deaths due to human-wildlife conflict have been recorded. Of these, more than 120 deaths were due to train accidents.
Photograph: Anuwar Hazarika/Reuters

A Congress worker holds a cut-out of jeweller Nirav Modi during a protest in New Delhi on February 16.

Modi became the face of financial frauds in India for 2018.

The Punjab National Bank disclosed that Modi had defrauded the bank of Rs 113 billion and by the time the news became public, the jeweller and his family had left India.

Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi's maternal uncle, was also accused in the fraud and he sought Antiguan citizenship.
Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/Reuters

People play Huranga Holi at the Dauji temple near Mathura, March 3.
Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Congress President Rahul Gandhi hugs his mother Sonia Gandhi after her speech at the 84th plenary session of the Indian National Congress at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi, March 17.
Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Almost six years after the Delhi 2012 gang-rape and murder case, India had an eerie sense of deja vu in April when an eight-year-old girl from Rasana village near Kathua in Jammu was abducted, raped and then murdered.

Angry protests erupted across the country with Indians demanding for justice for the child.
Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/Reuters

When H D Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Karnataka chief minister on May 23, all eyes were on the Opposition as its leaders came together to show a united front.

Amid this show of strength, one moment that stood out was when Congress matriarch Sonia Gandhi hugged Bahujan Samaj Party matriarch Mayawati.

It signalled a thaw in ties and a hint of an alliance to be formed in the future.
Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

Former president Pranab Mukherjee with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur, June 7.

Mukherjee's decision to accept the RSS's invitation to address a gathering at the Sangh HQ in Nagpur raised howls of outrage.

In his speech, Mukherjee told the RSS, 'Our national identity has emerged after a long drawn process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and tolerant. Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogma and identities or religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only lead to dilution of our identity.'
Photograph: PTI Photo

A high tide seawave enters a shanty town near the shore at Bandra, north west Mumbai, July 14.

Mumbai's rains surpassed its monthly target of 840 mm in the first 10 days of July. It did not stop there as the city recorded more heavy spells thereafter. As a result, Mumbai exceeded the 1000 mm mark.
Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

In this combo of four photographs, Congress President Rahul Gandhi hugs Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi after his speech in the Lok Sabha on the no-confidence motion during the monsoon session of Parliament, July 20.

Just before he hugged Modi, Gandhi in a hour-long speech said he had no hatred for the BJP despite, he said, being at the receiving end of its abuse.
Photograph:PTI Photo

Pro-reservation outfits of the Maratha community burn a vehicle after a clash with the police during the funeral of Kakasaheb Shinde who died during a protest in favour of reservations in Kaygaon village, Aurangabad, July 24.
Photograph: PTI Photo

Mother Nature unleashed its fury on Kerala in 2018. From August 9, severe floods affected the state, killing over 483 people.

It was the worst flood in Kerala in nearly a century.
Photograph: Sivaram V/Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Anilchandra Shah and others escort former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cortege, August 17.
Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

On September 4, a portion of the arterial Majerhat bridge in south Kolkata collapsed, snuffing out three lives and crushing many vehicles.

It was the second major bridge collapse last year. Eighteen people lost their lives when a bridge collapsed in Varanasi.
Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

Devotees carry an idol of Lord Ganesha in Nagpur on the first day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, September 13.
Photograph: PTI Photo

Police use water cannons to disperse farmers protesting at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border during the Kisan Kranti Padyatra on October 2.

2018 highlighted the farmers crisis with countless protests across the country almost every month.
Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Environmentalist G D Agarwal, who had been fasting for over 100 days for a clean River Ganga, being forcibly taken to the hospital after his health deteriorated in Haridwar.

On October 12, after being on a fast for 109 days, 87-year-old Agarwal passed away at an AIIMS hospital in Rishikesh.

Agarwal had begun his satyagraha on June 22, saying he would fast unto death unless significant steps were taken towards reviving the Ganga's uninterrupted flow and Parliament passed the Ganga Protection Management Act.

In an interview with Down to Earth magazine, he said, 'I will give up fluids from October 10, and I will die before Dussehra. I will have no regrets even if I die in the course of saving the Ganga. The end of my life would not mean the end of efforts being undertaken to save the river.'
Photograph: PTI Photo

M J Akbar on October 17 announced his resignation as minister of state for external affairs in the light of the allegations against him for sexual misconduct.

The former journalist resigned 10 days after columnist Priya Ramani accused him of sexual harassment and predatory behaviour.

At least 12 women journalists came out in public accusing Akbar of sexual harassment who called the allegations baseless.

Akbar was one of several high-profile personalities to be named since a wave of sexual misconduct allegations by women hit the Indian media and entertainment industry, that many called the late arrival of India's #MeToo moment.
Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Journalist Kavitha Jakkal being escorted by the police to the Sabarimala temple on October 19.

Jakkal and activist Rehana Fathima were taken to the temple, but the priest, reportedly, locked the doors to the shrine and the women had to return.

Jakkal was one among many women who tried to enter the temple after the Supreme Court struck down a rule that disallowed girls and women in the 10 to 50 age group from entering the temple.
Photograph: PTI Photo 

A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after trains travelling at high speed ran through crowds standing on the rail tracks in Amritsar.

On October 20, Dussehra revelry turned into unspeakable tragedy as nearly 60 people were killed and several scores injured after two trains mowed down around 150 people who stood on the railway tracks watching the effigy of a burning Ravana.

Around 300 spectators were present at the Dhobi Ghat ground which is almost a couple of kilometres away from the Amritsar railway station. While Dussehra revellers stood on the ground witnessing the symbolic victory of good over evil, train 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU ran over those who chose to come on the railway tracks to get a better view of the fireworks.

Before the survivors could sense what had happened, a second train -- the Amritsar-Howrah Express -- sped past mowing down people who had jumped on the second set of tracks to escape the disaster.
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Congress President Rahul Gandhi offer prayers with Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and the party's state campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia at Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain.

There were heated debates over Gandhi's self-discovery as a practising Hindu. Commentator Shekhar Gupta noted, 'If Rahul wants to pick up the sacred thread where his daadi left it, especially when the BJP, which reduced his party to 44 in 2014, claims monopoly over Hinduism, it's smart politics. Why cede your Gods to your rival?'
Photograph: PTI Photo

Rahul Gandhi holds a cutout of the Rafale fighter during a protest demanding Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma's reinstatement outside the CBI headquarters.

In October, the Bureau plunged into ugly controversy when the government controversially removed the two men at the top.

Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were relieved of their duties after each accused the other of corruption.

The government said it had no choice after months of infighting, calling it an 'extraordinary and unprecedented' situation.

Opposition parties accused the government of interfering in the CBI's internal matters.
Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

A view of the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Narmada district, Gujarat.

Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi inaugurated the 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary, October 31.

The Rs 23.89 billion statue is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the United States and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Photograph: @PMOIndia/PTI Photo

Relatives mourn 17-year-old Sandeep Singh at his funeral in Amritsar, November 19. The teenager was among the three killed when two motorcycle-borne men threw a grenade on a religious congregation inside the Nirankari Bhavan's prayer hall at Adliwal village near Rajasansi.
Photograph: PTI Photo

Residents survey the damage caused by cyclone Gaja in Kodiakkarai, Nagapattinam district.

Cyclone Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast early on November 16 claiming 46 lives, leaving a trail of destruction in over ten districts, including Nagapttinam, Thiruvarur, Puthukottai and Thanjavur which suffered severe damage.
Photograph: R Senthil Kumar/PTI Photo

Voters queue to cast their vote in the Rajasthan assembly election outside a polling station at Samred village, Jaipur district, December 7.

In the final state polls, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Congress pulled a surprise by defeating the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Photograph: PTI Photo

Nineteen-month-old Hiba Nisar undergoes treatment after a second surgery on her right eye at the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

Tragically, Hiba became the youngest pellet victim in Kashmir on November 25 when she was hit by pellets inside her home during clashes in Shopian district.

According to the infant's mother Marsala Jan, Hiba was playing inside her house when clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in the wake of an encounter where six terrorists were killed.
Photograph: PTI Photo

Vishva Hindu Parishad supporters at a Dharma Sabha in New Delhi, December 9.

Calls for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya reached a fevered pitch in late 2018 with many BJP leaders and the Shiv Sena asking for an ordinance to build the temple.
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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