2017 was a springboard year in some ways, where many new beginnings were made. If the US got a new president, India got a new tax regime. As women globally spoke out against harassment, oppression, like that of the Rohingya, got uglier. Issues like climate change and pollution became bigger talking points, intensifying our search for habitat beyond the planet. The issues promise to get just bigger in the new year.
Launch of GST: The Goods and Service Tax (GST) came into effect from July 1 after a historic midnight session of both the houses convened at the Central Hall of the Parliament. This was one of the few midnight sessions held by the Parliament, besides declaration of India’s independence on August 15, 1947, and the subsequent silver and golden jubilees of that occasion. The fanfare, however, was followed by several revisions of tax slabs, leading to much confusion over the new tax regime.
Trump era begins: 2017 began with Donald Trump assuming office as the 45th US President on January 21. True to his character, Trump has been making headlines since then, be it over sacking of FBI director James Comey, allegations of his team colluding with Russia for the presidential elections, travel ban on seven Muslim nations, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or walking out of the Paris climate deal earlier this year.
Doklam standoff: The 73-day military standoff between India and China in Bhutan’s Doklam plateau in June was one of the high-profile events of the year. A result of India charging China with violation of a ‘peace agreement’ following an attempt by the latter to extend a road near India’s border in an area the two nuclear-armed giants have disputed over for decades, the standoff was, however, resolved peacefully.
In early October, allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein triggered a wave of complaints from women, even those outside Hollywood. Victims were urged to post ‘me too’, a phrase first coined by activist Tarana Burke. Such was the impact of the campaign that Time Magazine chose ‘The Silence Breakers’ or the ‘#MeToo’ — the women and men who have spoken up about sexual harassment and misconduct — as its Person of the Year