By Harshmeet Singh
As a country, 2015 has been an extremely eventful year. There were some amazing highs which were averaged out by a number of lows. From banning anything remotely offensive to showing solidarity with the fellow countrymen at the time of natural crises, we added a number of new chapters to the nation’s history.
But to end the year on a cheerful note, we would prefer concentrating on the positives. The year 2015 brought with itself a number of moments that took India’s stature to new heights. Let’s revisit the top seven moments of 2015 that made India proud and cherish them before we start 2016 with a clean slate.
- The first all women contingent at the Republic Day parade
This year’s Republic Day Parade was in the news for multiple reasons. Barack Obama, during his second visit to India, became the first US President to attend India’s Republic Day Parade as the guest of honor. But what made this parade really special was the participation of first ever all women contingent. Women officers from all the three arms of the military took part in the parade, whose theme was “Women Empowerment.”
On January 25, Wing Commander Puja Thakur became the first woman to command the guard of honor for President Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Chennai boy becomes the CEO of Google
Sundar Pichai became a household name not just in India, but in many other countries including the USA. The IIT Kharagpur engineer took over as the CEO of Google on October 2, 2015. Previously, he had played a key role in the development of a number of Google’s flagship products including Android, Google Drive, and Google Chrome.
- Air Force to induct female fighter pilots
On October 8, Air Force Day, air-chief Arup Raha announced the plans to allow the induction of women fighter pilots in the Air Force. Till now, women Air Force officers have only been employed in office work and navigation. Women have also flown cargo planes and helicopters in the past, but have been kept away from the fighter planes.
- Sania Mirza reaches the pinnacle and stays there
The year 2015 saw Sania Mirza setting out on a dream run along with her doubles’ partner, Martin Hingis. The duo ended the year as the world number one team, with 10 titles in their kitty, including the Wimbledon and the US Open.
- Society accepts transgender people
The year saw frequent rallies and pride parades in support of transgender people in different parts of the country. Though these rallies weren’t new, the professional success of Madhu Kinnar and Manabi Bandhyopadhyay raised great hopes.
Madhu Kinnar became India’s fifth transgender mayor after winning the Raigarh Municipal elections while running as an independent candidate. Dr. Manabi Bandhyopadhyay became the first transgender college principal in the country after she was offered the post at Krishnagar Women’s College.
- Magsaysay award for Sanjiv Chaturvedi
Indian Forest Services officer of the 2002 batch, Sanjiv Chaturvedi is known for unearthing corruption with every new posting. He was rewarded with frequent transfers, suspensions and false cases. The Magsaysay award foundation awarded him with the prestigious award for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of programme and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people.”
- 21 June is now the ‘world yoga day’
The UN accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of naming 21st June as the ‘world yoga day.’ June 21, 2015 saw millions of people practicing yoga in different parts of the world. PM Modi led from the front and practiced Yoga at Delhi’s Rajpath along with more than 35 thousand people. The gathering at Rajpath also found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest yoga camp.