International AIDS Day. India has 5.1 million people infected with HIV, which is the second most in the world after South Africa. (Also see Crooked Timber)
No one really knows how many people are infected with the disease in China.
We are also approaching the 20th anniversary of the chemical disaster at Bhopal, where 2,000 people died immediately (and 6,000 would soon die of injuries), and where no one -- still -- has been brought to justice. (See Sepia Mutiny)
And just a month ago was the 20th anniversary of the assasination of Indira Gandhi, which was followed by widespread communal violence against Sikhs in India.
1984: a really, really, really bad year. (I haven't even mentioned what was happening in Sri Lanka... or Northern Ireland... or Ethiopia)
2004: not so great either.