We are at the writing desk in a dark hour; 365 blank pages rasping with anticipation. Another chance for us to get it right, as Oprah Winfrey famously said.
2012 streaked across our collective vision in a gloomy blur. The exceptionally violent gang rape and death of a 23-year-old Delhi girl and the ensuing nationwide protests were the morbid topping to, by and large, a downer of a year.
Last year saw, India’s economic growth slide, the rupee weaken, steep inflation make your earning look smaller and smaller, a government crippled by allegations of policy paralysis and titanic corruption, and a major airline grounded with financial burden. It also had its ever-growing share of rapes, murders… even cannibalism thrown in on the very last day.
But 2012 also saw the rise of a vibrant, vocal social media and civil society led by the otherwise politically inert middle class. It saw a cornered government bounce back towards the end with a number of bold reform measures and a cash transfer scheme which could be a gamechanger, both as a social agent and an electoral trump. Corruption charges have led to an impetus for cleaner processes.
In short, the convulsions of 2012 could become the cornerstones of better policy, and perhaps policing, in 2013. Bad years have a tendency to throw up shining successors. Take 1945 and 1946, for instance.
For a year that saw Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last wave of Holocaust and a war raging from Manila to Munich, 1945 would rate among the darkest in history.
1946, like 2013, began on a Tuesday. It saw the first meeting of the United Nations and the birth of Unicef. Project Diana bounced radar waves off the moon, proving that communication was possible between Earth and outer space, and arguably kicked off the space age.
In nuke-battered Japan, women voted for the first time in 1946. Casio corporation, which would have telling influence on our lives with the early calculators and electronic watches, was born.
We hope that 2013, like 1946, will bear out American poet Theodore Roethke’s line: ‘In a dark time, the eye begins to see…’
Hindustan Times wishes you all a very lucky ’13.