Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement that saw Indians rally in support has been named among the top 10 news stories in the world this year by Time magazine, which listed the Arab Spring and killing of Osama bin Laden as the top attention-grabbing headlines.
Time magazine compiled 54 wide-ranging lists of the top 10 happenings in 2011 in the field of politics, entertainment, business, sports and pop culture.
Among the ‘Top 10 World-News Stories’ is “Anna Hazare’s Hunger Fasts Rock India” with the magazine saying that “in a year with more than its share of protests worldwide, perhaps the most striking act of dissent took place in India, where the country’s ruling coalition took flak for a host of corruption cases implicating a number of leading politicians”.
Hazare’s “fasts – even the threat of them – triggered mass demonstrations of support across India’s major cities and heaped pressure on the government to create an independent ombudsman body capable of investigating the nation’s political elites – even the Prime Minister – and bringing the corrupt to justice”.
It said the mass support 74-year old Hazare commanded, particularly from India’s burgeoning middle class, is a “sign of the growing frustrations and aspirations of those in the world’s largest democracy”.
The top news stories of 2011 were the Arab Spring that spread to a number of countries and the killing of bin Laden in a covert US raid in Abbottabad, besides the famine in the Horn of Africa, fall of longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and Europe’s financial crisis.
In a different category, Time magazine said the death of religious leader Sathya Sai Baba was among the top 10 ‘Religion Stories’ of 2011.
Given that the spiritual leader was one of the “most famous gurus” in India, Baba’s funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of people and the “pomp wasn’t surprising”.
In other lists, Time said the story of Casey Anthony, the Florida mom accused of killing her two-year old daughter was the “most overreported” news of the year followed by the British royal wedding of Prince William with Kate Middleton, guesswork over the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, the Dominique Strauss Kahn sex scandal and the reality TV drama that was Kim Kardashian’s wedding.
Time said the self-immolation of Tibetan monks was the most “underreported” story of the year.
“It usually takes a US President tweaking Beijing by meeting with the Dalai Lama, or a celebrity-studded Richard Gere fundraiser, to get Tibet into the news these days. Even then, the attention is fleeting”.
As at least eight Tibetan monks, two of them teenagers, torched themselves this year to protest Chinese rule, the publication said “hopefully more attention will be paid” to the issue.
Time named Slumdog Millionaire actor Frieda Pinto-starrer Miral among the worst movies of 2011.
“There was his (Director Julian Schnabel) peculiar casting of Indian actress Frieda Pinto to play the title character, a passionate Palestinian schoolgirl – a choice that undercut his good intentions”.
Other lists included the best and the worst tweets, business blunders, political gaffes, scandals and top crime stories of the year.