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India

Yearbook 2012

2012 IndiaIndia. It was a tough year for the federal government of India, led by the Congress Party. Several serious corruption scandals shook Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his ministers. Out in the streets, tens of thousands of people demonstrated at times against the widespread corruption that permeated the entire country, not least the state apparatus. In the state of Assam, ancient contradictions between Hindus and Muslims flared up again, leading to nearly one hundred deaths and hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the riots.

2012 India

In January, state elections were held in Manipur in the northeast, in Punjab in the northwest and in Uttaranchal in the north. At a polling station outside Manipur's capital, Imphal, an offender shot and killed six people, including election workers, before being shot to death by security police. According to countryaah, a faction of the separatist group Nagaland National Socialist Council (NSCN) is suspected to be behind the act. Ahead of the upcoming state elections in popular Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission ordered that all statues of sitting Prime Minister Mayawati Kumari, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), be covered so that they would not give her an advantage in the election. Kumari was notorious for ordering statues of himself and former leaders of the Dalits (formerly called castless).

At a ceremony in late January, hundreds of Assam rebels surrendered their weapons of destruction, a symbol of the ceasefire agreement and peace talks that nine rebel groups had signed with the New Delhi government in 2011. A total of 15 Assam rebel groups negotiated with the government, while six groups chosen not to make calls. An estimated 10,000 people have been killed in rebellion in Assam since 1979, where a number of groups are fighting for independence or autonomy for the entire state or for a specific ethnic minority.

The riots in the corruption scandal surrounding the sale of quantities of telecom licenses in 2008 continued. In February, the Supreme Court ordered the government to tear up 122 contracts on 2G mobile phone licenses and renegotiate them. The reason was that it was previously revealed that the licenses were distributed at a far too low price. A lawsuit was pending against the then telecommunication minister Andimuthu Raja.

The Hindu Nationalist Party BJP (Indian People's Party) was able to retain power in Bombay (Mumbai) in February for the fourth election in a row. The coalition party Shiv Sena also made a strong choice in the economically important city. When the results of the elections in five states came in March, it turned out to be a major setback for the Indian Nationalist Congress (INC), also called the Congress Party, which heads the federal coalition government. Only in Manipur did the Congress party make a really good choice and got a clear majority in the state parliament. The worst was for INC in Uttar Pradesh, where party secretary general Rahul Gandhi led the campaign. In Uttar Pradesh, the Socialist Samajwadi Party won a landslide victory. The governing BSP went back sharply. In Punjab, BJP prevailed along with Sikh SADs. In Uttaranchal, where INC was believed to win easily, the party only got one more mandate than the BJP. In Goa, the Congress party lost power to opposition BJP. In New Delhi, the ruling BJP clearly defeated the Congress Party.

In the state budget for 2012-13, the defense received an increase of 17%. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India was the world's largest importer of military equipment.

In the spring, the Indian National Audit released a report that sharply criticized how coal mines and coal mining concessions were sold out for cheap by the state between 2004 and 2009. The procurement of the contracts had not taken place in accordance with the principle of highest bid and in this way India was considered to have lost the equivalent of SEK 400 billion to treasury. Prime Minister Singh was not mentioned in the report, but a shadow fell on him as he was minister responsible for the coal industry during the current period.

India succeeded in April with a test launch of a long-range robot, Agni-V, which can carry nuclear warheads and has a range of 500 miles. In the same month, BJP members in Parliament demanded a review of new tours in the so-called Bofors scandal of 1986, in which the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors has been accused of paying bribes to obtain a large arms contract from India. The deal contributed to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi losing the election in 1989. The BJP accused the Congress party of putting the lid on the issue. The fast-growing Indian economy showed signs of some slowdown. Growth was significantly lower than a year ago, but was still higher than in many other comparable countries. The value of the currency rupee also fell. In June, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee resigned after being nominated by the Congress Party candidate in the July presidential election. Mukherjee, 76, was a party veteran who had previously been Minister of the Interior, Foreign and Defense. Prime Minister Singh temporarily took over the post of finance minister. The BJP's presidential candidate was PA Sangma, former President of Parliament. The Congress party's Mukherjee won a clear victory in the presidential election over Sangma in July. The election is indirect and the president is appointed by a so-called electoral college consisting of representatives of both parliament's chambers and of the state governments. Former President of Parliament. The Congress party's Mukherjee won a clear victory in the presidential election over Sangma in July. The election is indirect and the president is appointed by a so-called electoral college consisting of representatives of both parliament's chambers and of the state governments. Former President of Parliament. The Congress party's Mukherjee won a clear victory in the presidential election over Sangma in July. The election is indirect and the president is appointed by a so-called electoral college consisting of representatives of both parliament's chambers and of the state governments.

Fierce fighting between the Bodo and Muslim settlers in Assam prompted Prime Minister Singh to introduce emergency permits in parts of the state after nearly a hundred people were killed and about 400,000 left their homes for fear of the unrest. In parallel with the fighting in Assam, a mass escape of around 20,000 Bodom members from various Indian cities occurred, where they were guest workers. The escape occurred after rumors began spreading on social media that Muslims were planning to attack Bodom members in the Indian cities.

During parts of August, Parliament's work was completely silent since the BJP blocked it, protesting that Prime Minister Singh did not resign as a result of the coal mining contracts, a deal now called the coalgate.

The Singh government suffered a new defeat in September when a coalition party, a regional party in West Bengal, chose to leave government cooperation. The departure was a protest against the government's plans to open up the Indian retail trade for foreign competition as well as against a number of fuel price increases.

With the intention of rejuvenating the government, Singh made a major government reform in October. The Foreign Minister was among those who were allowed to go, as was the Minister of Justice.

Pakistani Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the only surviving perpetrator of the Bombay deed in 2008, was executed in November in prison in Pune by hanging. Executions of the doomed are very rare in India.

In December, Parliament adopted a very contentious bill that would open the country's large retail sector to foreign companies and investors. The government justified the proposal by making it easier for the country's stagnant economy, while opponents considered it would pose a risk of Indian companies being out-competed by foreigners.

The year ended with the entire Indian nation shaken by a brutal group rape against a 23-year-old woman on a bus on the outskirts of Delhi on December 16. The woman was taken to Singapore for care but died from her severe injuries. Six men were arrested for the act, which triggered major protest actions around the country. Many people were injured in the riots that erupted and a policeman was killed. Five of the men were indicted for kidnapping, gang rape and murder, while the sixth man, who was under 18, would be investigated by a special juvenile court. The men risked the death penalty.

The group rape and murder focused on women's often vulnerable situation in Indian society and demands were heard on new laws that would strengthen women's rights. The government appointed a commission tasked with analyzing any shortcomings of various authorities in connection with the incident.

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