Finally, 2008 is coming to an end. It was a year of tumult, turmoil and terror, a year that brought both -- the best of times and the worst of times.
The year started on a high. Ten days into 2008, the BSE Sensex closed at an all-time high. That same day, Ratan Tata unveiled the Nano, the world’s cheapest car. The economy expanded 9 per cent for the third straight year ended March. The India growth story, it seemed, would carry on forever.
Then, the tide turned. High global commodity and crude oil prices began to push the inflation rate to double digits.
Interest rates rose in tandem, and the loan-fuelled consumption boom began to peter out. The tremors from the US financial crisis finally ended the prevailing feel-good factor — by the second half of the year
The downslide only got worse. Economic growth has slipped to 7 per cent or less, and India’s cup of woes, it seemed, was full.
But the Gods who write India’s script had saved the worst for the last. The Mumbai terror attacks on November 26 were the culmination of a year in which terrorism scaled new peaks across the country.
As the year draws to a close, the mood is sombre. The crisis has brought new challenges—this is the first time liberalized India is facing the downside of globalisation. But hope still floats in the air.
The nuclear deal, the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 and Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, among many other examples, underline India’s resilience.
Starting today, Hindustan Times will bring you a series of articles on how to turn adversity into opportunity — about how India can, India did and India will.