N Chandrababu Naidu recently barred the CBI from entering his state by invoking powers conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The time-honoured practice of taking stock at the end of a year perpetrates a subconscious sense that a new year is somehow a different time, that we are taking a clean break from the one that is ending.
The reality of course is that it is as arbitrary a point of reference as any other. The world doesn’t change because the year has.
Newsmakers often remain newsmakers for years, if not decades. Robust trends take a long time to take root. And while political and business fortunes dip and soar, the prime actors stay entrenched, particularly in family-dominated Asian societies such as ours.
This is not to say year-end lists are not fun. Of course they are. We wouldn’t be doing one if they weren’t. But a list is a definite thing, and that quality clashes with the arbitrary nature of the timeframe. Could this be the source of dissonance that pervades many such exercises? Perhaps.
The choice of our subject is informed by the sense that the New Year is part of the continuum. We have picked nine themes that will be vigorously debated in 2019.
Some are clear binaries, while others are less so. While Narendra Modi will either be reelected or not, many Indians might choose deeper digital engagement even as others choose to disconnect and reclaim their minds. But all are issues that will animate 2019, a critical election year that’ll determine the near and far course of much that is fundamental to this country.
We have chosen themes from business, politics, culture, sports and society. We have explored whether the MeToo movement will make women more or less equal at the workplace. We have examined how the growing state versus federal tussle will play out. We have analysed how the mega battle for India’s retail market will unfold. Will cricket lose some of its coolth to other sports, even if it defends its massive viewership? Will the novel lose out to Netflix even more […]