2012 didn’t end on a happy note with memories of the Delhi rape victim tormenting the conscience of the nation. But some of us did party, and the police were on their toes this time, ensuring that women let their hair down without the nagging fear of being violated. But isn’t that too little to gloat over?
The top two issues likely to dominate public discourse in 2013 are the state of economy and security of women — and on both counts, it looks bleak. UPA II, battered by criticism for its seldom inspiring performance, is reduced to a tottering coalition even as its helmsman Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talks of taking some tough measures to turn the economy around. A ballooning fiscal deficit and spiralling inflation had brutally cut short India’s growth story. In such an atmosphere, Mr Singh is toying with the idea of increasing diesel and kerosene prices by Rs10 in a phased manner as if a gradual rise in fuel prices will cushion the impact. One is scared to think how the common man will survive in the days to come.
On top of that, till date, the government has done little to restore people’s confidence in its ability to take a tough stand against rapists and molesters.
It’s still dithering and contemplating while the people grow increasingly impatient. Does it think that it can win the 2014 elections with such a poor track record? Every year brings with it hope that things will improve. But for us, Indians, that could be wishful thinking. Still, we live in hope. Here’s to 2013. May it be a year in which things change for the better.