Flashback 2015: Top political controversies that rocked the nation
Like every year, 2015 was also full of major happenings in and across the world in terms of politics, sports, business, entertainment and other facets of life.
But in India, the year 2015 saw a flurry of controversies. From religious to educational, 2015 can be termed as a 'year full of controversies'.
Here let's take a look back at what issues rocked the nation:
Intolerance: Intolerance became the most used term in the second half of the year 2015. From celebrities to some activists, many began to feel that India is an intolerant country, since the time Modi government came into power. Incidents like the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri over suspicion of beef consumption, beef ban, award returning, added fuel to the intolerance fire.
VK Singh's remarks: Minister of State for External Affairs Minister V K Singh emerged as one of the top minister who was indulged in controversial statements all through out the year. He even went on to call media a "presstitute"!
On March 23 this year, he had attended the Pakistan National Day celebration at the High Commission in New Delhi amidst the controversy sparked by Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit's comments that India was not against his interactions with Kashmiri separatist leaders. It had caused a huge controversy and had forced him to give clarification on the same.
In Oct 2015, he again embroiled himself into a controversy saying that the "government cannot be held responsible if somebody stones a dog", on the dalit killing incident in Faridabad. BSP, Congress and AAP had demanded his sacking over the irresponsible remark.
In Nov, he also said, "the debate over intolerance in India is an "unnecessary" creation of very imaginative minds being "paid with a lot of money."
Tipu Sultan controversy: Nov 2015 was hit by the controversy involving the birth anniversary celebrations of the historic figure Tipu Sultan.
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 feudatory ruler under the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire which founded Bengaluru in 1537.
He also said during the state government-organised Tipu Jayanti celebrations that the 18th century Mysore ruler would have enjoyed the same status as Maratha king Chhatrapathi Shivaji had he been a Hindu and not a Muslim.
Following these statements, Karnad had to face the anger of certain groups besides threats to his life that led to his taking police protection.
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 organisations had boycotted the celebration calling Tipu a "religious bigot".
Sabarimala controversy: In Nov 2015, Hindu Pilgrimage Sabarimala, predominantly for men of all ages, came under social media backlash, as the temple's board allegedly wanted a machine that scans menstruating women.
A social media campaign called "Happy To Bleed" was launched on Facebook and Twitter, in response to Sabarimala authorities misogynist statement.
Pahlaj Nihalani: Film Producer Pahlaj Nihalani, who was appointed as the censor board chairman following Leela Samson's resignation in January 2015, was in news for all the wrong reasons.
In Nov, he came up with a video titled "Mera Desh Hai Mahaan, Mera Desh Hai Jawaan", dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the visuals depicted in the video were of foreign locations, infrastructure, and programmes.
"Images of developed countries have been used to show visions of Modi's new India. If this is chamchagiri (sycophancy) then I am proud of it", he had said. FTII students even branded Nihalani as the "propaganda machine" of the BJP-led government.
Azam Khan: When it comes to naming controversies, then the Samajwadi Party senior leader Azam Khan always has his place fixed in this spot.
In March this year, a class XII student from Bareilly was arrested and sent to jail for allegedly posting objectionable comments on Facebook against Azam Khan.
While justifying the arrest of 19-year-old Vicky Khan, he had said, "there was a comment from a boy on Facebook against me which caused problem to me as people started abusing me over phone and started getting flak on Facebook. These incidents will stop only after taking hard steps, his act was highly objectionable."
In Nov, Khan had stormed a controversy by blaming western countries for Paris terror attacks, that claimed 129 lives. In a sort of justification, Khan had said, "global superpowers must realize that the terror attack was a reaction to their action in Syria and Iraq", while adding that "European cities cannot be lit up with the ill-gotten wealth from the oil reserves of Middle East".
On Nov 20, he raked up another controversy by telling a rape victim to "not to try and find popularity in such a thing of infamy and shame". In the same month, he also suggested that Muslims would prefer 'kabristan' than Pakistan.
In Dec, he also said 'Demolish Taj Mahal, build Shiva temple instead' and had labelled Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a terrorist organisation.
Anti-women/ rape controversies: Every year, controversial remarks are made against women, by various politicians and celebrities.
This year Karnataka's veteran politicians KS Eshwarappa from BJP and KJ George from Congress made headlines on this issue.
In Oct, senior BJP leader and former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister KS Eshwarappa courted controversy when he asked a woman journalist what can the opposition members do if "someone drags and rapes" her.
Karnataka Home Minister KJ George stoked the controversy when he said, "Rape by two men is not gangrape. How can you call it a gangrape? A gangrape is when four-five people are involved. We should condemn the people who did such an act."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led-AAP government remained in controversies throughout the year.
Soon after forming the government in Delhi in Feb 2015, there have been many instances where Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung were involved in ugly war of words. Then, he had an ugly spat with party's co-founders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
There were numerous instances when Kejriwal was described as a man with ego and attitude, in handling various situations. He had afallout with the Delhi police and he even called a police constable, "thulla".
Sensatrional Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh caused at least 44 mysterious deaths. Solar scam bar scam, nursing job scam dominated the political scenario in Kerala throughout the year.
Passport & visa scam, rail neer scam, mining scam in Rajasthan, Louis Berger scam in Goa, procurement scam in Maharashtra, admission and transport scam in Delhi, multi-crore scam in Tripura were also reported this year.
Saradha chitfund scam, telephone exchange scam, ponzi scheme scam, lottery scam, cash-for-vote in Andhra Pradesh, 2g scam rose valley scam, satyam scam, coal block allocation scam and stock scam also remained in news in 2015.
Farmer suicide and Ghar Wapsi were also the raging controversies of 2015.