If 2016 was the year of celebrity deaths, then 2017 definitely marked the death of incredulity. From the get-go we were hammered with news, some good some bad but all of which left us slack-jawed and wondering what just hit us.
We started off the year with a bang, we wish that ‘bang’ had been aimed at a certain orange head but unfortunately it was just the sound of collective human disappointment. While the West reeled from the consequences of their actions, India was nursing some wounds of its own, human crisis, casual genocide, religious divide and natural disasters, everything seemed to be in flux.
Every day brought with it a new headline to shock, awe and horrify and every time we got ourselves together enough to evaluate the situation, something came along to disrupt the world again. As we ran around link headless chickens obtaining PAN, Aadhar and OCI replacements for our identity, we were bombarded by little snippets to make us just that bit more miserable. Whether it was our favourite actors and comedians turning out to be heinous sex offenders or just a coercive internet game that leads to suicide, everything was just...the worst. So as you can see, we’ve lost our faith in humanity and have decided to accept and wallow in our fate, join us won’t you?
(If this is a bit much for the end of the year and you need a bit of cheering up, click here for a few highlights that made 2017...not so bad)
As if millenials weren’t broke enough as it is GST came along to make us just that bit more miserable every day. The Goods and Services Tax was implemented to replace the cascading system on products and supposedly simplify the taxation structure of the country by creating a simple unified amount. Well most of us didn’t concern ourselves with the financial intricacies and were merely horrified that we were now paying Rs. 15 for one cigarette. And of course there was that added kicker of menstrual hygiene products being taxed higher rates, hey Mr.Jailtley, please trying bleeding for a week every month and tell us how luxurious YOU find it.
II. Blake Shelton Is Named The Sexiest Man Alive
Ok, we know that this isn’t one of the most pressing issues in our country...or any other for that matter. But it was another chip at our faith in humanity as a whole. In the past, Shelton’s been known to post some openly racist and homophobic tweets that really tested our patience. And when People Magazine declared him the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ we can only assume that it’s because they have never met another man. When a generic looking at best Caucasian country star is chosen from the diverse melting pot of candidates all we can see is a right-wing approach to the world that symbolises the worst aspects of Trump’s America.
III. Bengal Tiger Crushed To Death
Earlier this year a woman and her father-in-law were killed by a tiger in the Uttarakhand district of Bailpadav. The tiger may have strayed away from the nearby Corbett National Park and was tracked down later that same day. After administering tranquilisers the forest officials attempted to capture the animal and during the process was trapped under the heavy arm of a mechanical digger as officials entrapped it in a net. The now gravely wounded tiger was taken to Nainital Zoo for treatment where it died later the same evening. While it was of course necessary to contain a possible threat to the villagers we’re saddened to know that even one of India’s rarest and most precious species- the national animal no less – wasn’t better taken care of. It’s a commentary on the sad state of India’s animal welfare sector as a whole and how far we have yet to go.
If you’ve been on the internet at any point in the last two months, there’s no way you’ve avoided hearing about this National travesty. The core of the issue was the release of big budget Bollywood blockbuster ‘Padmavati’ starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Now in an industry that drops hundreds of films a year, why was this suddenly the centre of attention? The Karni Sena, a slightly enthusiastic (read: extremist) political group in Rajasthan were appalled that their beloved Rani Padmavati was shown dancing without a veil and in a passionate dream sequence with the villainous Muslim ruler, Allahudin Khilji. The fact that Padmavati probably never existed outside of Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem ‘Padmavat’ hasn’t slowed down the argument, death threats to the actors or killing in the name of. Well done India, way to prioritise your problems.
V. Rakhi Sawant Quits Instagram
‘I LOVE COFFEE, I love coffee, I love coffee, I love coffee.’ Possibly one of her most iconic lines and today a favourite catchphrase for the caffeine deprived around the Homegrown office. Rakhi’s social media game was so on point that when she announced that she was quitting Instagram, we all drew a collective gasp of horror. No more daily snippets of her thoughts? No more animal filtered critiques of society? What were we ever to do with ourselves. It was a dark day indeed.
VI. That Damn Statue
In one of the most ambitious architectural projects ever conceived, the Indian government decided to pay homage to the Great Shivaji Maharaj with a grand 210 metre statue on an outcrop off the Mumbai coastline. It promises to be the tallest statue in the world and will set them back a cool 4,000 crores. The idea is to boost the city’s tourism while reminding citizens of India’s rich history but all we can think about is how many better uses could be found for that money. Unlike other iconic statues like The Statue of Liberty or Christ The Redeemer, it won’t be a standalone monument but a facet of a larger museum dedicated to the life of the Maratha ruler. We only wonder that if they have 4,000 crores rattling around in spare change for this little history project, why are millions of citizens still struggling for basic necessities on a daily basis? Well, luckily, they’ll have a 210 metre reminder than food and shelter aren’t really that important.
Bonus Round: Trump
When the US election day rolled around in January, India sat glued to its screens - something that never happens for our own elections of course - as everyone wondered the same thing. Is this really going to happen? Is the straw haired oompa loompa of reality TV really stepping up to the highest political post in the free world...yes, yes he was. It wasn’t just that he was best known as a cantakerous TV personality, after all Reagan had started off as an actor too. It was the sheer lunacy that with all his sexist, racist, misogynistic and xenophobic ideals, he gained a majority vote. It’s always been easy to be disparaging of the American intellect but with that move, they made it easier than ever. Today it still seems like a bad joke they’re playing on the world, one that comes with the threat of nuclear war and world devastation. What a laugh.
For a compilation of the other side of this coin, here are 2017’s biggest achievements.
If you liked this article, we suggest you read: