The year that was

Published On: 2013-01-30

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VIEW FROM THE TOP: The year that was

Date: December 31, 2006

By: Shekhar Kapur (Film Maker)

Source: TOI


Ten things that 2006 will be most remembered for:


Decline of Big Brother: People lost their fear of the western powers and increasingly challenged the US and its allies.


America's travails in Iraq, the inability to contain Hamas in Lebanon, the inability to contain nuclear ambitions of Iran or North Korea,the inability to get China to revalue the Yuan, the continued spiralling dollar, the sheer audacity of the President of Venezuela in publicly calling George Bush a devil while on US soil in the UN; all were signs of a world sensing that power balances were shifting elsewhere.


Green power: As scientists released alarming data on the melting of the glaciers and arctic ice, global warming finally came to be accepted as a major issue by the voters, and so began the race to save the planet.


The power of the individual: The year that the individual found a way to fight back through blogging. Against the state, the corporation or any other power structure.


When 15 minutes of fame became 15 seconds of fame: Long-term iconism in media was finally challenged. Internet sites like YouTube, MySpace coupled with mobile viewership gave the consumer a huge choice.


Anyone had the ability to put themselves out on the net. New pop idols and stars will rise and fall in a space of weeks as the consumer is hammered with new images and sounds every minute.


The return of tuberculosis: WHO rang the alarm bells on new mutated strains of TB. It threatens to become a ravaging epidemic.


Mass transit and globalisation will make it difficult to contain. The airlines will suffer their greatest losses as air travel becomes the biggest source of spread of the infection.


Hrithik Roshan: Challenged international stardom with Dhoom 2 this year. He will go on to become India's first 20-million-dollar actor.


The decline of human actor: It was the year that animation films began to far out-gross live action films. A little penguin in Happy Feet became more popular than a new-hyped James Bond.


The big blockbuster films will increasingly be animation films. Most 'live' actors will gravitate to TV sitcoms. The big stars will be life-like animated characters.


Beginning of the invasion of Indian mythic characters: The success of Virgin Comics in branding Indianised mythical characters such as Devi into the international markets will begin a rising tide that will swamp western characters such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman etc with newer mythic eastern characters.


Low-intensity radioactivity as the terrorist's new weapon: An ex-KGB operative Alexandra Litivenko was assassinated using Polonium 210. It will give rise to a new weapon of fear and mass killing by terrorists.


Civil strife in the UK: The seeds were sown in 2006, with the British government coming out heavily in favour of banning the hijab.


Propelled by the fear of home-grown Islamic terrorists and mass migration from eastern Europe, the prime minister publicly stated that the 'British way of life'was under threat.


That fear psychosis will turn immigrant areas into battlefields. Spreading to London, the financial services sector and capital will flee the city.


-The writer is an acclaimed film-maker