Even as we step into a shiny New Year, even the most brazen of optimists among us will find it difficult to shrug off 2012 quickly. The last few days of the year were tumultuous to say the least and its strains will definitely be heard in the New Year. Like any other year 2012, too, had its fair share of news breaks: the army chief’s age controversy, Mamata Banerjee’s blow-hot, blow-cold performance, deaths in accidents (more than 100 were killed in the Assam boat tragedy), a presidential election and some assembly polls (Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat being the biggies), more-than-encouraging performances by Indian sportsmen in the London Olympics, the rise and rise of social media, troubling scenes in Parliament (whenever it could meet, that is) — and then even as we were hoping that the year would pass off quietly came the news of the horrendous gangrape in Delhi. In between all these roller-coaster news bursts, there was another big worry: a sinking economy, making many ask whether the country will truly ever be a breakout nation.
Yet, we believe that there will be enough in 2013 to cheer us up. So much so that we have called the special seven-page pullout with today’s paper ‘Lucky 13’, even though the number has developed the reputation for being unlucky. Read the special edition to see what lies ahead for us: challenges as well as hopes. Backed by a 25% rise in key indices in the last year and some bold reforms, the economy looks poised to pick up again; a rollicking political battle (Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi) is on the cards and the cash transfer scheme may turn out to be the pill that India needs. And then, if everything else fails, there will be Bollywood and Indian sportsmen to save us from gloom and doom. In the last one year, the Hindi film industry has registered 10-12% growth; in 2013, it is going to grow bigger, Karan Johar assures us. Another promise of bounty comes from racquet queen Saina Nehwal who says she will try to win as many tournaments possible.
We wish you, dear readers, a very Happy New Year with a reminder of what a TV diva once said: “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”