By Syed Akbar
The first decade of the new millennium has left behind a mixture of woes and hopes: Woes ranging from the mad cow disease in Europe in 2000 to human madness in the form of terrorism, sectarian violence, communal carnage and wars. And hopes ranging from finding solutions to the problem of global warming and climate change to discovering water on Mars and the moon, and sequencing human genome to find cure to a myriad diseases and health issues.
India achieved the “space superpower” tag, when it successfully sent the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft to the moon in 2008 and discovered the presence of water there, although the mission ended abruptly a year later. The decade is witness to hundreds of important events that had triggered an array of woes and hopes.
Some important events during 2000-2009 are: spread of dangerous epidemics like anthrax in 2001, severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003 and swine flu (human influenza H1N1) in 2009; completion of the human genome project in 2003, cloning of Dolly the sheep in 2003, first successful partial face transplant in 2005 in France, vaccine for cancer of cervix in 2006, creation of artificial DNA in Japan in 2008, Cerns Large Hadron collider test in 2008, tsunami in 2004, attack on world trade centre in the USA and the Indian Parliament in 2001, Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008, invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001 by the USA and its allied nations, Godhra and Gujarat riots in 2002, Mumbai terror in 2008, and killing of Saddam Hussein in 2006 and LTTE chief V Prabhakaran in 2009.
Fall of Twin Towers
The world saw the rise of a new brand of international terrorism following the attack on world trade centre and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. About 3,000 lives were lost in the attack involving three hijacked commercial planes. A new outfit Al-Qaeda surfaced on the world terror horizon, giving the superpower a bitter taste of terrorism in the post cold war era.
Terrorism has turned into a major global threat since 9/11 leaving no country safe from terror attacks. There have been several incidents of terror bombings post 9/11 — in India, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Spain, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The prime culprit, Osama Bin Laden, however continues to elude the US agencies on his hunt.
Attack on Indian Parliament
Completion of Human Genome Project
Tsunami in Indian Ocean
Indian mission to the moon
Invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition
The execution of Saddam Hussein on December 30, 2006 further fuelled the civil war in Iraq, but a troop surge in 2007 brought down the violence to a certain extent. Hopes of return of peace to Iraq strengthened after Barak Obama became the US President with a promise of complete pullout of American forces.
Godhra and Gujarat riots
The Modi government in Gujarat received international condemnation for the communal violence, which human rights groups described as“pre-planned and well-organised”. The US government cancelled the visa of Narendra Modi to address a business meet there. Eight years later, the political blame game is still on, even as justice eludes the victims and their kin.
Explosion of space shuttle Columbia
Mumbai under terror siege
End of LTTE in Sri Lanka
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