Palestinians hold candles as they take part in a memorial ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of Israel's offensive in Gaza, in Gaza City.

AP Photo

Police detain one of the activists of AIDWA during a protest demanding resignation of Andhra Pradesh Governor N D Tiwari, over his alleged involvement in a sexcapade, in Hyderabad. When a local TV channel telecast explicit clippings purportedly of the veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari, the 86-year old governor of Andhra Pradesh, in bed with three women, cynics said the sex-scandal had been engineered to divert attention from the Telangana issue. The footage was rejected by Raj Bhavan as fabricated and a "tissue of lies". The High Court was moved to stop further telecast. Opposition demanded that the 86-year-old Governor resign or be dismissed.

Army too was embroiled in corruption this year as the land scam made headlines. The controversy revolves around a piece of land next to the army's 33 Corps Headquarters in Siliguri in West Bengal.

When a local TV channel telecast explicit clippings purportedly of the veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari, the 86-year old governor of Andhra Pradesh, in bed with three women, cynics said the sex-scandal had been engineered to divert attention from the Telangana issue. The footage was rejected by Raj Bhavan as fabricated and a "tissue of lies". The High Court was moved to stop further telecast. Opposition demanded that the 86-year-old Governor resign or be dismissed.

Protesters attack a vehicle of Telugu Desam party's legislative members during a strike to press the demands for the creation of a separate Telangana state at Osmania University campus , in Hyderabad.

On January 7, Ramalinga Raju’s faxed confession heralded the new year-- a Rs 7000 crore fraud that turned out to be the biggest in India Inc's history. Postcript: The year 2009 would eventually see the fall of Satyam and its resurrection as Mahindra Satyam. As the year progressed, the investigators into the scam themselves came under the scanner. R Vasudevan, member of Company Law Board, was arrested on graft charges by CBI. He was caught red-handed while accepting bribe of Rs 7 lakh for delivering a favourable decision

After being on top of the Test rankings, India did not wait for the year to end before they sealed off the One Day series against Sri Lanka with the help of chanceless centuries from Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, thus ensuring that they would go to their home ground, Feroz Shah Kotla, with the series in the bag.

AP Photo/Bikas Das

Sock It To ’Em
The climate certainly changed for the worse—in Pilibhit and beyond—in the spell of one tempestuous campaign by a Gandhi.

Tribhuvan Tiwari

N. Gopalaswami vs Navin Chawla
CEC N. Gopalaswami took on CEC-in-waiting, Navin Chawla, saying the latter should be sacked for his Congress bias. Swami even took exception to Chawla’s frequent loo breaks during crucial EC meetings, alleging he was using the time-off to pass on information. But the man ultimately caved in, even posing for the cameras with his successor.

Illustrations by SORIT

Corruption in higher judiciary remained in news through the year. Finally, a petition seeking impeachment proceedings against beleaguered Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran was moved by as many as 76 Rajya Sabha members.


Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda was in news for alleged money laundering, diversion of state funds and making huge hitherto unheard of illegal investments abroad running into crores of rupees. He is the first chief minister and high-profile politician to have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) along with eight others including three of his cabinet colleagues.

AP Photo

Freida Pinto
Anyone knew her earlier movies? Ask her quickly discarded boyfriend.

Nitin Gadkari
Gadkari who? The RSS man was plucked out of obscurity to lead a young BJP.

David Headley
American, Pakistani, Jew, immigration office owner, CIA double agent?

Susan Boyle
The frumpy, dumpy wonder-voice of England wowed globally. Then, she woke up.

Ravindra Jadeja
Unknown until the day he scored a painful 35-ball 25, with one four, during a desperate chase against England in the T20 World Cup. India lost.

Kobad Ghandy
Doon School alumnus, CA from London, hailing from an affluent Parsi family; he gets a face after decades in the Maoist movement.

He may be Bengal's "Most wanted"but we don't know what the Maoist leader looks like.

Jarnail Singh
Chidambaram ducked, but Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler could not.

The Japanese team performs during the team free final of the synchronized swimming, at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File

No more board exams for Class X. In a radical move to revamp the education system and to de-traumatise the students, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal made Class X Boards optional, paving way for introduction of grading system for the CBSE.

Tribhuvan Tiwari

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi console Vijaya Lakshmi, the wife of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy who died in a chopper crash.

PTI Photo

Mayawati's penchant for building statues, at a stupendous cost (of more than Rs 2,000 crore) to the exchequer, led her to considerable legal trouble. The Supreme Court called it a waste of public funds, but the lady was unmoved. Meanwhile, the UPA remained busy naming various public and government schemes after the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty icons.

Nirala Tripathi

Change in BJP leadership as LK Advani makes way for Nitin Gadkari after he was announced as the new BJP President. Outgoing President Rajnath Singh looks on.

PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Banged: Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi's season of woes continues. Facing trial for bribery, fraud, he gets a broken nose and teeth after being hit with a statuette.

RIP, Dileep Chitre. The 70 year old, fiery bilingual poet (Marathi and English), filmmaker (Godan), '60s little magazine pioneer. Eku Kavita, Travelling in the Cage are major anthologies

Boxer Suranjoy Singh wins India's first gold at the President's Cup. The Manipuri flyweight is also 'Boxer of the Tournament'. He beat France's Nordine Oobali (8-1) for the gold.

A Jordanian veiled woman is seen in Amman.

AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh

An investor yawns as he looks at a stock price monitor at a private securities company in Shanghai, China.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

A United States Forest Service air tanker drops fire retardant next to a line of fire as the Station fire burns in the hills above a home in Acton, California.

AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Lockerbie airline bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi walks on to his airplane accompanied by Libyan officials at Glasgow International Airport. Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced the release, freeing the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber from prison on compassionate grounds.

AP Photo/Scott Heppell

Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling, two American journalists who were arrested in March after allegedly crossing into North Korea from China, are greeted by Michael Saldate and Ian Clayton, the respective husbands and Lee's daughter, Hana, after the two arrive at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

A Palestinian woman reacts over relatives moments after they were killed in an Israeli missile strike outside their home in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series 'Kung Fu' whose career roared back to life when he played the assassin-turned-victim in Quentin Tarentino's "Kill Bill, "was found dead in Thailand.

AP Photo/Ric Francis, File

US swimmer Michael Phelps prepares for a men's 200 meters Butterfly heat at the FINA short course swimming World Cup in Berlin.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File

The triple-deck ferry, M.V. Coco, floats after it tipped and its rear portion sank in the Tetulia River late Friday near the coastal town of Bhola, 64 miles (104 kilometers) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

AP Photo Firoz Ahmed, File

A supporter of main challenger and reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi hides her face using a poster of him as she waits in the stands at an election rally at the Heidarnia stadium in Tehran, Iran.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File

Marestella Torres of the Philippines competes in the women's long jump finals to win the gold medal at the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, Laos.

AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn

RIP Paul A. Samuelson. A Nobel laureate and one of the leading economists of the 20th century, died at his home in Belmont, Mass. He was 94.

AP Photo/Bob Child, File

Yesteryear actress Bina Rai, 78, passed away. Hers was the Regal face that adorned hit period musicals like Anarkali and Taj Mahal of the B&W era. She married actor Prem Nath.

Police arrest Lagadapati Rajagopal, Congress MP from Vijayawada, who was preparing to begin a high-profile hunger strike to protest the splitting of the state, in Hyderabad. Most train and bus services resumed and businesses and schools reopened in Andhra Pradesh following three days of violent protests against the government's announcement to create a new state.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A

Naung Kya and Nyi Nyi Tun of Myanmar compete during the men's 10-meter platform synchronised diving finals at the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, Laos.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Gibraltar's Kaiane Aldorino won the Miss World 2009 contest in Johannesburg, South Africa.

AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

Detained demonstrators are seen lined up on a street in Copenhagen. Thousands of protesters marched through Copenhagen calling for tough action from the UN climate conference.

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

President's IAF chopper takes off from Puri helipad. President Pratibha Patil had a close shave after the blades of her chopper grazed a wall while landing at Bhubaneswar.

PTI Photo

Activists of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front shout freedom slogans as they carry torches during a protest rally to mark International Human Rights Day in Srinagar.

AP Photo/Dar Yasin

Nicolas Sarkozy voiced sympathy for Switzerland's controversial decision to ban the building of Muslim minarets, calling on religious practitioners to avoid "ostentation" and "provocation" for fear of upsetting others. "Christians, Jews, Muslims, all believers regardless of their faith, must refrain from ostentation and provocation and ... practise their religion in humble discretion."

AP Photo

British writer J.K. Rowling poses after she was awarded with the medal of Knight in the Legion of Honor order by French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

AP Photo/Benoit Tessier, pool

Ratan Tata poses during the launch of the company's nanotech water purifier 'Tata Swatch', in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Santosh Hirlekar

Supporters of the Telangana movement at Osmania University in Hyderabad celebrate after the central government's decision to initiate the process of creating a separate Telangana state.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

The foot of a polar bear is pictured under water at a zoo in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Polar bears became a symbol for climate change, that threaten the natural habitat of the endangered white giants.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Sikhs protest against Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan chief Ashutosh Maharaj during the Punjab Band, in Amritsar.

PTI Photo

On top of the world Test rankings! Indian team after winning the third cricket test match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. India played just six Tests in the year, and only three overseas – which caused indignation around the cricketing world, which detected in this a conspiracy by the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) to starve and murder Test cricket, to make room for the lucrative T20 leagues. Along with celebrations, the news also raised howls of protest from people horrified by the possibility that India would lose the No. 1 ranking without being able to defend it.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader LK Advani after offering floral tributes to Dr Rajendra Prasad's portrait on his 125th birth anniversary, inside the Parliament, in New Delhi. In the lead-up to the election, of course, their choice of words for each other had been anything but cordial. A sampler: Manmohan Singh on LKA: "I am not a sloganeer. I will readily concede that my opponents make more rousing speeches. But unlike the NDA's prime ministerial candidate I will not be found weeping in a corner while hoodlums tear down a centuries-old mosque. Nor will I be found wringing my hands in frustration while one of my chief ministers condones a pogrom targeted at minorities." And here's LKA on the PM: 'Kaisa nikamma pradhan mantri hai, kaisa nikamma netritva hai (how worthless is the prime minister and the political leadership)'' "You have a situation in which the prime minister holds office but has no authority and the person who has authority has no accountability."

PTI Photo/Kamal Singh

Mr Modi in a new avatar posing for touristy pics! The Gujarat CM poses at sun set during the Rann festival in Kutch desert.

PTI Photo

Victims of the Bhopal gas disaster shout slogans during a torch light procession on the eve of 25th anniversary of the disaster, in Bhopal.

PTI Photo

Swiss voters approved a move to ban the construction of minarets in a vote on a right-wing initiative that labelled the mosque towers as symbols of militant Islam.

AP Photo/Keystone, Alessandro Della Bella

Rachel Uchitel gets into a car in front of her home in New York. The National Enquirer published a story alleging that golfer Tiger Woods, who had a car accident near his home on Friday, had been seeing the New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters. Uchitel denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the Associated Press.

AP Photo/Afton Almaraz

Photo released by the White House, shows President Barack Obama greeting Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, at a State Dinner hosted by Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington. The Secret Service is looking into its own security procedures after determining that the uninvited Virginia couple managed to slip into the dinner.

AP Photo/The White House, Samantha Appleton

A Supreme Court panel indicted the Bellary Reddy brothers' firm OMC for illegal mining in unalloted forest areas on the AP-Karnataka border. All activity to be suspended.

Thirty four years on, Mujibur Rahman's killers were sentenced to death. The Bangladesh founding father and later 'president-for-life' was victim of an army coup.

Three-year-old Moshe pays tribute to his parents Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and Rivka who were killed during 26/11 attack on Chabad House in Mumbai, a year ago.

PTI Photo/Santosh Hirlekar

England's Alfie Burden kisses the winners cup after beating Brazil's Igor Figueiredo in the men's final of the World Snooker Championship, in Hyderabad.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A

President Pratibha Patil being strapped before flying in Sukhoi-30MKI of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pune. President Pratibha Patil created history by becoming the first woman president to fly in a fighter jet.

PTI Photo/Shirish Shete

US President Barack Obama leaves with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

PTI Photo/Subhash Chander Malhotra

US President Barack Obama makes a toast with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Claude Levi-Strauss, 100, iconic anthropologist and a pioneer of the leading intellectual style of the last century: structuralism passed away. Classics: The Savage Mind, Trites Tropiques.

Actress Shilpa Shetty and London based businessman Raj Kundra pose for the media after their marriage ceremony in Khandala.

AP Photo

Leader of the Opposition L K Advani reads a newspaper report on the Liberhan Commission in Lok Sabha, which led to a furore over the issue of an alleged leakage of the report published in the newspaper.

PTI/Courtesy Loksabha TV

Wither freedom of press? This time it was Shiv Sena activists, in Mumbai, vandalising the office of IBN-Lokmat.

PTI Photo

PM Manmohan Singh seen with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition LK Advani after they offered tributes to Indira Gandhi on her 92nd birth anniversary, inside the Parliament in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Atul Yadav

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai waves as he greets the guards of honour upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace for his inauguration in Kabul, Afghanistan for a second five-year term.

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

Johnny Depp was named People magazine's "sexiest man alive" for a second time, joining an elite club of double honorees that includes George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File

A police officer shows the copy of terror suspect David Coleman Headley's passport.

PTI Photo

Swami Prasad Maurya stoops to touch the feet of UP Chief Minister Mayawati, after he administered oath of office at the Raj Bhawan, in Lucknow.

PTI Photo/Nand Kumar

A boy sits on a fishing boat in Mumbai. Cyclone Phyan weakened by evening and bypassed Mumbai. Most of about 600 stranded fishermen in Gujarat and Daman also returned safely.

AP Photo/Dhiraj Singh

A keeper glove is seen surrounded by candles in a mourning area in front the soccer stadium in Hanover, Germany. Robert Enke, the Hannover 96 and Germany's national team goalkeeper, was struck and killed by a train, in what police called an apparent suicide. He was 32.

AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach

Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa sobbed on TV and blamed the 'dissident' Reddy brothers for all the turmoil that happened.

PTI /Courtesy NDTV

Ashley Wagner of the United States performs during the exhibition skating of the NHK Trophy Figure Skating competition in Nagano, central Japan

AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist set to be shipped overseas opened fire at the Fort Hood Army post, in a rampage that killed 12 people and left 31 wounded in the worst mass shooting ever at a military base in the United States.

AP Photo

A burned UN bullet proofed vest and a helmet are seen in the destroyed guesthouse that left five UN staffers dead in Kabul, Afghanistan. UN is temporarily relocating more than half of its international staff in Afghanistan following the deadly Taliban attack.

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi exits the Inya Lake Hotel after meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, partially seen behind her, in Yangon, Myanmar. Campbell met Suu Kyi in a visit that marked the highest-ranking talks between an American and Myanmar's detained leader in 14 years.

AP Photo/Khin Maung Win

Smoke billowing out of the IOC depot for the 7th consecutive day in Sitapur, Jaipur.

PTI Photo

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy listen to the hospital staff as they visit the Paoli-Calmettes Institute in Marseille, southern France. Sarkozy unveiled France's second national plan against cancer.

AP Photo/Jean Paul Pelissier, Pool

A cloud of flames billows out of the Indian Oil Depot, on fire for the third consecutive day, in the Sitapura area of Jaipur.

PTI Photo

Sports stars and legends clap during Queen's Baton relay ceremony at London's Buckingham Palace. The ceremony starts the countdown to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. From left: Abhinav Bindra, British cricketer Monty Panesar, Kapil Dev, Sania Mirza, five times National ladies squash champion Misha Soni and 1958 Commonwealth 400m gold medal winner Milkha Singh.

PTI Photo/Subhav Shukla

Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor with designer Rohit Bal at the Grand Finale of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi.

PTI Photo by Kamal Kishore

David Shepherd RIP
The very popular former English test cricket umpire died of cancer. He was 68. In this last ever international match he officiated, Shepherd performs his trademark standing on one leg as England reach 111 runs during their ODI match against Australia at the Oval cricket ground in London. Shepherd had a superstitious habit of standing on one leg when a team reached certain scores.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File

A day after RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat said, "As far as BJP is concerned, whatever surgery, medicine, chemotherapy is essential for them, it has to be diagnosed by them," he clarified that he had never meant the party needed chemotherapy. "I did not say chemotherapy is needed (by BJP) but you know what happens in the media. Now I do not even want to clarify..." Post-Script: Whether he does or not, the fact remained that as the year grinds to a close, the domination of the BJP organisation by the Sangh seems complete with Nitin Gadkari's appointment as the party president. But the Advani camp has not given up, as far as the legislative party is concerned, by managing to wrest the position of Chairman for Mr Advani and his hand-picked Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj being appointed as leaders of opposition in Rajya and Lok Sabha respectively.

AP Photo/Manish Swarup

The Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express at Banstala near Jhargram in West Midnapore district after two of its drivers were kidnapped by PCPA activists demanding an immediate release of their leader Chatradhar Mahato.

PTI Photo

President Prathibha Devi Singh Patil talks with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during welcoming ceremonies at Windsor Castle, Windosor, England.

AP Photo/Leon Neal, pool

Construction site of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi as of Oct '09. India lags way behind the schedule to meet Commonwealth Games standards, and as the date nears the Delhi Govt is busy racking brains to meet the deadline and save faces at the same time.

PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Sushmita Sen walks the ramp for designer Sanjana Jon at the Wills Life Style India Fashion Week.

Sanjay Rawat/Outlook

NSW Blues captain SM Katich holds the winning trophy after his team victory over Trinidad & Tobago in their Champions League Twenty20 cricket match at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, in Hyderabad.

PTI Photo

Atindranath Datta, officer-in-charge of Sankrail police station who was abducted by Maoists speaks to media surrounded by the armed guerillas after his release at West Midnapore in West Bengal .

PTI Photo

Raj Thackeray-led MNS made its maiden foray in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, playing spoiler for the Shiv Sena-BJP Combine. NCP-Congress had much to thank him and his party for their doing well in the Lok Sabha polls too.

Apoorva Salkade/Outlook

Brawn GP's Jenson Button, of Britain celebrates with mechanics after Button won the Formula One World championship by finishing fifth during Brazil's Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo.

AP Photo/ Martin Rickett

German writer Herta Mueller holds a news conference in Berlin, Germany after she won the 2009 Nobel Prize in literature.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

A family look out from their flooded house in Pungo village, northern Philippines. The nationwide death toll since Sept.26 back-to-back storms started pounding the northern Philippines is more than 600.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

The first image of the moon taken from the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. Two NASA spacecrafts are barrelling towards the moon at twice the speed of a bullet, about to crash into a lunar crater in a search for ice.