Nitin Gadkari

From shaking up the very foundations of the Indian government to stirring up unseemly controversies, from showing incredible courage in the face of extreme adversities to losing a reputation built over years of hard work in just a blink of an eye, from setting the electoral hustings afire with golden speeches to getting into trouble for not speaking at all, there were many 'newsmakers' in 2012 who caught the common man's imagination. Some made it for stellar reasons, others for all there is wrong with the society. Here are 12 'newsmakers' that deserve a mention.

Murphy's law states that 'anything that can go wrong will go wrong'. Who else can infer this better than Nitin Gadkari, who has been charged with 'corruption'? To add fuel to fire, the beleaguered Bharatiya Janata Party president also made some awkward statements and found himself at the wrong end of the stick this year.

Suffering one setback after the other, Gadkari today finds himself cornered by some of his own party members. After allegations of owning shell companies were levelled, Gadkari kicked up a storm by likening Swami Vivekananda to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim by saying: "If we consider scientifically, then Swami Vivekananda and Dawood Ibrahim might have the same IQ. However, Dawood used it for wrongdoings and became the emperor of the criminal world, whereas Swami Vivekananda used his intelligence for welfare of the society and nation and became a source of inspiration for the entire world."

To his misfortune, the Congress promptly attacked him, apparently twisting the meaning of his remark and alleging that he compared Vivekananda with Dawood.

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai in a column wrote: "In this open season against corruption, it would be easy to see Gadkari as yet another high-profile 'target' of the growing public anger against political corruption. What might have been dismissed as 'sharp' business practices in another period is now evidence of yet another politician trying to wink at the law by a mix of recklessness and subterfuge. Why else would a self-proclaimed 'social entrepreneur' choose to set up a maze of fictitious shell companies unless he believed he could get away with it using political clout?"

"The story of an under siege Gadkari is not just about popular rage against him, it also seems to reflect a growing crisis within the country's premier Opposition party. In the last three years, in the relentless gaze on the wrongdoings of the UPA 2, the BJP has been in soft focus. And yet, the travails of the BJP at times suggest that its future is just as uncertain as the Congress's."

  • Narendra Modi

    Narendra Modi

    From shaking up the very foundations of the Indian government to stirring up unseemly controversies, from showing incredible courage in the face of extreme adversities to losing a reputation built over years of hard work in just a blink of an eye, from setting the electoral hustings afire with golden speeches to getting into trouble for not speaking at all, there were many 'newsmakers' in 2012 who caught the common man's imagination. Some made it for stellar reasons, others for all there is wrong with the society. Here are 12 'newsmakers' that deserve a mention. More »

  • Kutch, Gujarat

    Kutch, Gujarat

    Trying to pick twelve travel destinations in India is a little like choosing the twelve best feathers on a peacock’s train, but pick we must. The most dramatic phenomenon we’ve observed in 2012 is the rising number of Indians choosing their own country for a great holiday. At one end of the spectrum, they are hitchhiking and backpacking. At the other they are patronising the most luxurious hotels and resorts once reserved for tourists brandishing wads of foreign exchange. Keen to experiment, they are experiencing everything from scuba-diving to cycling. Many are taking to wildlife and landscape photography with a passion. Here’s our selection of the 12 most captivating Indian holiday destinations of 2012. Feel free to argue but, most importantly, get up and pack! More »

  • Tendulkar’s 100th century

    Tendulkar’s 100th century

    Like any other year, this one too had its highs and lows, moments that captured the imagination for contrasting reasons. Here's a lowdown on what happened in the world of cricket in 2012. More »

  • Coalgate scam

    Coalgate scam

    It was an eventful year in the world of finance and business, one that actively involved all three actors: the government, people and even the common man. From violent employee agitations to controversial reform proposals and volatile economic indicators, we compile the twelve defining news events of 2012. More »

  • Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan

    Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan

    There was seldom a day which passed by without these celebs hogging the limelight. Here’s what they did More »