Flashback 2015: From Award Wapsi to OROP, protest which haunted Modi Govt
As the year 2015 is going to bid adieu, lets have a look at the massive protests that India witnessed in the year. People came out on the streets over various issues to express their displeasure.
These protests not only drew the attention of the entire nation but also got a mention in the international arena.
Here are the protests which brought the BJP-led Government at Centre at tenterhooks.
The protest over One Rank One Pension (OROP) by retired armed personnel at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar demanding implementation of same pension for same rank irrespective of the date of retirement.
Protesting against Modi government, veteran army personnel came out in the streets what they termed it to be their right. The protesters also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for going back on the promise he made during Lok Sabha polls campaign.
With 'OROP', defence personnel who retired in the past would be able to draw the same pension as officers and soldiers of the same rank retiring now. OROP is expected to benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen and widows of defence personnel.
Finally, on September 5, the government implemented the OROP, which received mixed response from the protesters. Some welcomed the move while there were others who termed it a betrayal.
Veterans are still not completely satisfied with the Modi Government's decision over OROP and keep protesting against Centre every now and then.
2015 saw massive protests from the students of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) following appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan, best known for playing the role of 'Yudhisthir' in teleserial Mahabharata, as chairman of the prestigious institute.
139-day-old students' stir grabbed national attention, which gave the opposition parties a chance to attack the BJP-led Modi government at Centre for propagating RSS-backed propaganda in the colleges. Calling off the strike, the FTII Students Association (FSA) leaders minced no words in attacking the "right wing" leanings of the Centre.
Expressing solidarity with the protesting students 13 prominent filmmakers raised their voice and decided to return their awards to the government.
Out of them, 10 were of national-level fame. Filmmakers like Anand Patwardhan, Dibakar Banerjee, Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai, returned their awards to mark their protest.
Award Wapsi, protest against rising 'intolerance':
This was one of the most talked about protests in the country when a section of intellectuals started returning their coveted Sahitya Akademi Awards and other national awards against rising incidents of intolerance in the country ever since Modi Government came to power.
Terming it as a protest against "assault on right to freedom of both life and expression" celebrated writer Nayantara Sahgal, the 88-year-old niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, had attacked the Modi Government referring to Dadri lynching, and the killings of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
Following Sehgal, a series of writers and poets went on an Award Wapsi spree to mark their protest against Modi Government and BJP. The BJP termed the incident as a propaganda of vested interest groups to bad mouth the Modi government as well as the BJP ahead of crucial Bihar elections.
The Award Wapsi was one of the reasons for BJP's loss in the high-staked Bihar Elections.
Protest against beef ban:
This year will be best remembered for the imposition of beef ban by the BJP-led governments in the country. Be it Maharashtra's order of restriction over sale of mutton, beef during Jain festival of Paryushan and Hindus' Ganesh Chaturthi celebration or Haryana Govt's decision of ban over cow slaughter.
These decisions triggered massive protests over social media as well as on the streets where people criticised the Modi government for propagating Hindutva agenda.
Protest against Aamir Khan & Shah Rukh Khan:
Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan faced massive criticism in the year 2015 after they too joined the bandwagon of those raising their voices against rising intolerance in the nation.
Both the BJP and its supporters attacked the popular actors of the B-Town for only helping the vested interest groups to defame India in the international community.
Both the actors faced massive criticism from a section of society for unnecessarily raking up the issue of intolerance only to give ammunition to the opposition parties, looking for an opportunity to target Modi government. Several right wing groups called for boycotting the actors' movies.
Then there were those who blamed the BJP and Modi government for targetting the actors who only expressed their concerns over increasing intolerance in the nation.
Last days of 2015 brought back the chilling memories of the 2013 Dec 16 gangrape incident, when people once again gathered at Rajpath to demand justice for Nirbhaya.
This time people extended their support to the family of 23-year-old para-medical student who was brutally raped and murdered in the moving bus on the roads of national capital. Nirbhaya's family was opposing the release of the juvenile rapist, brutish of all the convicts, and Delhi government giving him funds to start a tailor shop.
The girl's parents sat on protest against the juvenile's release and passing of the pending Juvenile Justice Bill in the Rajya Sabha. People gathered at Rajpath to press for the demand and even faced the opposition of Delhi Police for not vacating the premises. Finally, on Dec 22, the Rajya Sabha passed the JJ Bill which agreed to lowering the age of juvenile criminals from 18 to 16 years.
Tipu Sultan birth anniversary celebration:
State of Karnataka saw massive protests in Nov 2015 following controversy involving birth anniversary celebrations of historic figure Tipu Sultan.
Karnataka government's Tipu Jayanti celebrations amid protest from a few pro-Hindu groups led to the death of two persons, including a VHP leader, in Kodagu district, while a man was stabbed in Bantwal taluk near Mangaluru.
Opposition BJP and several right wing organisations had boycotted the celebration calling Tipu a "religious bigot".
Jnanpith award winner Girish Karnad came in the eye of a storm for his controversial remarks that it would have been "apt" had the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli been named after Tipu Sultan rather than Kempegowda, a ruler under the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire which founded Bengaluru in 1537. The actor faced massive criticism for his remarks and allegedly received threats for his comments.