It’s almost the end of the year and it is time to bid adieu to 2018. The year has been quite an eventful one, jam-packed with action, movements, protests, debates, elections and many more. “Rewinding 2018” is a humble effort of HW News to throw light on all such incidents that made headlines in every sphere of life in 2018.
Here are the political stalwarts that we lost in 2018:
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018):
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on August 16 at the age of 93. The veteran BJP Leader Vajpayee was the 10th Prime minister of India. He served as the Prime minister of India for a term for 13 days in 1996 and later from 1998 to 2004. In 2004 Vajpayee was awarded Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award for his contribution towards the Indian Democracy. A 10-time Member of Loksabha and 2 time Rajya Sabha Member, Vajpayee political career extended over 4 decades.
Impressed by the oratorical skills of Vajpayee, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had predicted that Vajpayee would someday become India’s Prime Minister. The Indian government celebrates Vajpayee’ birthday “Good Governance Day” on 25th December.
M Karunanidhi (1924-2018):
M Karunanidhi the last fighter of Dravidian movement departed the earth on August 7, 2018. Karunanidhi left behind a long legacy of the Dravidian principles and teachings sprawling over almost six decades. The master of creating headlines, an unapologetic self-proclaimed atheist, Kalaignar for the Tamilians and Thalaivar for the DMK Cadre, Muthuvel Karunanidhi joined Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam as a disciple of the Dravidian ideology but his unwavering faith in the ideology and his mentors have made him synonymous to the movement.
In his political career spanning across almost 60 years, he brushed shoulders with his bitter political rivals MGR and Jayalalitha. After his death, his son MK Stalin has taken over as the DMK President.
Anant Kumar (1959-2018):
Former Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar died at a private hospital in Bengaluru on November 12. Kumar, 59, breathed his last after battling lung cancer for several months. A six-time member of Parliament, Kumar had climbed the political ladder steadily from being an RSS worker to be the Union minister in his thirties.
Kumar had been in the inner circle of the central leadership of the BJP — be it during the heydays of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or L K Advani and now Narendra Modi.
Along with state BJP chief Yeddyurappa, Kumar is among a few party leaders who can be credited for the growth of BJP in Karnataka, as they built the party and bringing it to power in 2008, making it the first saffron party government in the South.
George H. W. Bush (1924-2018):
George Herbert Walker Bush was an American politician who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. He served as the 43rd vice president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the Republican Party, his earlier posts included those of congressman, ambassador, and CIA director. During his career in public service, he was known simply as George Bush, but after his son George W. Bush became the 43rd president in 2001, he was referred to as “George H. W. Bush”, “Bush 41”, or “George Bush Sr.”.
Somnath Chatterjee (1929-2018):
The former Lok Sabha speaker and the senior communist leader Somnath Chatterjee passed away in Kolkata on August 13. The 89-year-old leader was a parliamentary giant having 10 terms on his record. One of the tallest leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from Bengal serving the party for almost 4 decades, he won all the Lok Sabha elections that he fought except one in 1984- in which he lost the Jadavpur constituency to current Chief Minister of Bengal Mamata Banerjee.
Though Somnath Chatterjee officially became a member of the CPI(M) in 1968, he fought the 1971 by-election caused by the death of his father independently with the support of CPI(M). From 1989 until 2004 for almost 15 years, he was the leader of his party in the Lok Sabha. In 2004, he was elected for the record tenth time as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from Bolpur Lok Sabha constituency. After the UPA assumed power in 2004, Somnath Chatterjee was appointed as the speaker of the house, unanimously.