What a year it was; wish all the very best in 2023

The year somewhat represented, symbolically, the way the new takes over from the old, an order that has been going on from when time began. Nothing is permanent, yet we must strive to be the best we can be in the New Year.

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A tumultuous year has come to an end. This is the time to look forward and hope for the best, but it is also the time for one last glance backwards, to ascertain what we take ahead from the last 12 months of our lives.

The world was still recovering from the Covid pandemic as Russia raged war against Ukraine and oil prices shot through the air, bringing much of the developing world to its knees. In India we felt the huge jolt and, amid the already existing economic slowdown and the after-effects of the pandemic, India had a tough time balancing her books and her policies. We managed pretty well, one must say, bringing us to a position where we are still the fastest growing major economy, within a slowing world scenario.

It must be understood that no economy today can exist away from world influences and, sooner or later, we will feel the pinch. We did, in a way, as exports plunged, imports ballooned and too much was mal-aligned on the fiscal side. How 2023 will treat us is a matter of conjecture and some luck, but we must be prepared for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Politically, there were gains for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in many states, though the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the Indian National Congress did pull some back in some; Punjab went to AAP and Himachal to Congress, and Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra elicited huge response. However, as of now, there seems no real challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP at the 2024 general elections.

In sports Lionel Messi of Argentina finally did reach the pinnacle of his career as he led his country to victory in the FIFA World Cup, while the all-time great superstar of the sport, Pele, passed away just days away from the New Year. This somewhat represents, symbolically, how the new takes over from the old, an order that has been going on from when time began. Nothing is permanent, yet we must strive to be the best we can be in the New Year.

Wish all readers the very best for a peaceful and prosperous 2023.