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Newsmakers of 2012

Obama, Mallya made the maximum news for good and not-so-good reasons respectively

BS Reporter 

* Rajat Gupta: Indian-born businessman Rajat Gupta was considered as the first leading businessman in the United States who was of Indian origin. Former director on the board of Goldman & Sachs, Gupta was convicted in June this year, on charges of insider trading stemming from the Raj Rajaratnam-led Galleon Group case. The conviction was met with fierce outrage from India Inc, with most of them believing that he will be allowed to go scotfree. However, Gupta was sentenced to two years imprisonment in October, an additional year on supervised release and was ordered to pay $5 million in fine.

* Barack Obama: Obama made this year, not only as the Presidential-hopeful for a second term but was mostly in the in the beginning of his presidential campaign because of the many factors going against him. He eventually made up during the debates and showed his opponent, and the country who the boss was. Obama features in the list of newsmakers not only by winning the elections but by baffling the Republicans by reclaiming the throne despite the many economic factors in the country going grossly against him.

* Arvind Kejriwal: Arvind Kejriwal, a RTI activist who broke past traditions and formed a party for and of the common people that would expose corporates and politicians, alike, in the wrong. Christened Aam Aadmi Party or AAP, the party stood true to its mission and exposed the likes of Robert Vadra, Mukesh Ambani, DLF, Nitin Gadkari, Salman Khurshid. While others emerged defensive with statements in the print media and television, the then Union Minister Salman Khurshid went to the extent of sending out death threats to Kejriwal if he dared enter his constituency Farrukhabad. Kejriwal entered, staged a rally against his and dared the minister to take any action against his party members there.

* Vijay Mallya: Dethroned from the Forbes' list of billionaires, was not the biggest jolt that Mallya, the king of good times received this year. Rather, amongst the others, Mallya is known to have welcomed this jolt without much ado. The Kingfisher Airlines crisis actually spiraled out of contol this year after its employees went on an indefinite strike on non-payment of salaries for month on end. Despite the crisis, Vijay Mallya was seen organising the Kingfisher shoot in Goa and attending the F1 in Delhi, which was met with a lot of criticism. After a Rs 6,000-cr debt and 7 aircrafts seized by the Tax authorities, Kingfisher has finally submitted a revival plan for the airline but without much details. The next move to look out for would be the DGCA's.

* Delhi rape victim: On December 16, Sunday, India woke up to the of a 23-year-old being gang-raped in a moving private bus in a posh area of New Delhi. The girl travelling with a male friend to Dwarka, was attacked and raped brutally Both of them were later thrown out of the bus, left to the mercy of by-standers. What would have otherwise disappeared into the books of the New Delhi police and hospital records caught the attention of the Twitterati (people of Twitter) and the youth in Delhi took to the streets, right upto Raisina Hill.
The government was criticised for its inaction, while the protests turned violent and the girl still fights for her life. Twitterati, journalists, celebrities alike joined in the outrage demanding action from the government. Protests spread to various cities and is still making headlines.

* D Subbarao: Subbarao, hailed as the most efficient Governor of the Reserve Bank of India had some tough criticism to handle this year. Markets, corporates and banks alike were expecting a CRR cut in the year, but Subbarao stood his ground and cut the rate only twice, once in March by 75 bps and the other in September by 25 bps. High inflation was one of the main factors for which the governor had to steel himself maintain liquidity under control.

* Lionel Messi: Lionel Messi became the newsmaker in the football world this year after defeated the record of the highest number of goals scored by a player in a year. Previously held at 85 goals, the footballer netted 88 goals in this year alone. Playing for Barcelona, the player is slated to sign a contract for 'life' with the club.

* Korean rapper Psy: South Korean singer Psy made history on YouTube after his song 'Gangnam Style' crossed 1 billion views in just five months. The catchy-upbeat rap in Korean, with horse-riding steps got the world's attention and soon they were all crooning, including Barack Obama, to it. The singer is also the first Asian to be nominated for 7 world awards including Best Asian Artist, Best Video, Best Song, Best Entertainer and World's Best Male Artist.

* Usain Bolt: Usain Bolt, called the fastest man in the world caught the world by surprise in this year's London Olympics. He is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977.
Also, the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and a five-time champion. He, with his roommates also set the world record in 4x100 metres relay. He was the first to achieve a "double double" by winning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012), and topped this through the first "double triple" (including 4x100m relays).

* Mamata Banerjee: Mamata Banerjee made a lot of headlines this year with her infamous attitude of opposing every majority move made by the government. The biggest shock came when she threatened to cut ties with the UPA over FDI in multi-brand retail. The notorious politician, who campaigned herself as a part of the common people, fiercely opposed the Centre's move to bring in FDI on the grounds that farmers, kirana store owners would be affected by the move. She stood true to her threat and Trinamool Congress pulled out of the UPA in September this year.

First Published: Thu, December 27 2012. 14:22 IST