Image: REUTERS/Mark Makela (All credits to the owners)
CNN’s Van Jones broke down with tears of relief on live TV, minutes after President-Elect Biden was projected as the winner of the election. The basic decency and empathy in Biden’s victory speech were jarring as it finally faced us with the vitriol that President Trump had normalised in his time in the White House. It was surreal to realise the scale of the havoc one man had wreaked on the existence of millions across his country. The comfort brought by his ousting and the reassurance of basic human rights felt like a shooting star, brightening this dark, painful year. There was much to celebrate — Harris’ historic appointment as the first Biracial, Black, South-Asian Woman in the VP’s office, safeguarding of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, a promise to fix systemic racism and a much too late acknowledgement of COVID and science. Of course, the very next moment, we were reminded by the victors themselves of the work left to do after taking a breath to celebrate.
Much can be written about this election, including an unfortunately located press-conference with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Guliani at a landscaping store placed between a crematorium and an adult-toy store. But in keeping with the chaos that is 2020, it wasn’t the only the major event taking place. Closer to home, the Bihar elections are projected to end with a razor-thin victory for the NDA-alliance by a mere 12-15 seats as opposed to an expected landslide. While not great for our already anxiety-ridden lives, these too-close-to-call elections spell hope for democracy and strong oppositions
It would be impossible to write about the events of this year without mentioning COVID. It feels strange to write the words hope and COVID in the same paragraph, but that is what this month has brought us. While parts of Europe and America see 2nd and 3rd waves and new lockdowns, other parts of the world show us that irradicating the virus is possible. Australia has begun to return to normalcy, after seeing many subsequent days and weeks without new infections and deaths. And most importantly, Pfizer Inc. has just announced the most awaited scientific discovery of this decade, a possible COVID vaccine.
As I write this note, I think of everything else I should be listing here. Arnab Goswami’s arrest and the subsequent national debate, the upcoming festival season, the reopening of educational institutes in India, the yet to be examined impacts of the virus on various industries, the many, many aspects to both the aforementioned elections. This is by no means an exhaustive list. These events leave us with much to think about. What does the Biden presidency mean for us? When will we get the vaccine? Does a vaccine mean our learning to live with COVID indefinitely? Only time will give us answers. But as we had set out to do with this magazine, we bring you another issue where we have tried to analyse bits and pieces of this chaos.
Isha Deshmukh, Karantaj Singh and Shrishti Agrawal