Flashback 2016: People's movements in India

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People of India have always come together to voice their opinion, dissent, anger whether against the government or over a cause. From social media activism to getting on to the streets and getting their hands dirty, 2016 has seen many instances of people getting together in protest or solidarity. Here is a list of such People's movements in 2016 that got the nation to take notice for the good, the bad or the ugly.


1. Rohith Vemula suicide- The suicide of a Scholar with University of Hyderabad inside the campus sparked off protests across the country with people calling him a victim of casteism. Rohith Chakravarthy Vemula committed suicide on January 17. His death and corresponding students' movement came as a major embarrassment to the BJP government. His death sparked off people's movement for Dalit rights with political parties like the BSP calling it an institutional murder.

Rohit Vemula

2. JNU students movement- Arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union's then President Kanhaiya Kumar split the country over opinion on sedition. Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition for raising Anti-India slogans in an event in the university. The incident triggered debates on sedition nationwide and became the trigger for many protests against and in support of the Delhi police and the Narendra Modi government.

JNU

3. Reservation agitations- 2016 saw caste-based reservation agitations like never before. Jat agitation in Haryana and the Kapu agitation in Andhra Pradesh saw widespread violence and damage to property while the Patidar agitation in Gujarat had spilled over from 2015. Trains were set ablaze by Kapu reservation agitators while allegations of unreported rape incidents, arson shadowed these agitations.

Jat protest

4. Una dalit movement- After members of a cow vigilante group publicly flogged dalits in Una of Gujarat on July 17, a rebellion broke open across the state. The incident was condemned by activists, public and politicians alike for government's inaction to rein in self styled protectors of the holy cow.Dalits in the Saurashtra region refused to clear animal carcass as a mark of protest against cow vigilantes. Protests were held across the country by various organisations in support of dalit rights and against vigilante groups.

[Also Read: Flashback 2016: When Islamic State went global]

5. Bengaluru steel flyover protest- A citizen movement like never before over an environment issue in the city of Bengaluru. The Karnataka government's proposal to build a steel flyover at the cost of over 800 trees was met with stiff opposition in the city. A citizen's action forum took the government to court to stall the project. Citizens came together to form a human chain in protest of the proposed steel flyover on October 16. The city witnessed many more protests along with the legal battle that resulted in NGT ordering a stay on any works on the project.

Steel flyover

6. Cauvery protests- Two states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu came to mere shut down for days over Cauvery water sharing agitations. Protests turned violent in Mandya, Bengaluru, Mysuru of Karnataka with widespread arson being reported from various places. Situation wasn't different in Tamil Nadu with protestors stopping transportation between the two states. It took the Supreme Court slamming both state governments for necessary action to be taken to douse the fire of agitations.

Cauvery protests

7. New Delhi Smog protest- In what was one of its worst smog situations, New Delhi chocked on bad air quality. Tired of the government's inability to curb pollution and demanding their right to fresh air, citizens of Delhi took to protest. After two days of shut down of schools owning to alarming level of pollutants in the air in Delhi, children, senior citizens, celebrities protested at Jantar Mantar on November 6, forcing the Delhi goverment to implement swift action measures.

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