The Mumbai Press Club has announced the winners of its “prestigious” ‘Ouch’ Awards, which celebrate the craziest and most embarrassing moments in Indian media.
Seen as a prelude to the more serious RedInk Awards -- which celebrate the finest in Indian journalism -- the high-profile winners of the ‘Ouch’ awards included Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Let’s take a look at who won in which category:
Golden Ouch for Transparency in Public Life
Winner: Arvind Kejriwal for his tweet on loose motions
Citation: For his evangelism in pursuing transparency and detoxification of self and the ‘body politic’ -- and for his great progress from singing to stinging and some very surprising mud-slinging!
Golden Ouch for Leadership in Absentia
Winner: Rahul Gandhi
Citation: For going on extended vacation when the ‘party’ needs him most, for staying away from Parliament at its most critical moments, for his enormous vocabulary of two key words: ‘women’s empowerment’!
Golden Ouch for Advancing The Cause Of Women
Joint Winners: Union Minister Giriraj Singh & JD-United Chief Sharad Yadav
Citation: (Giriraj Singh) For excelling in the field of gender prejudice in the face of enormous domestic competition, and for successfully hurting the sentiments of a friendly African nation.
Citation: (Sharad Yadav) For crudely changing the complexion of parliamentary discourse by his racially-charged comments on the skin of south Indian women and his response to the criticism of HRD Minister Smriti Irani
Silver Ouch for Advancing The Cause Of Women
Joint Winners: (Nirbhaya case defence lawyers M L Sharma and A P Singh)
Citation: For their consistent, unstinting commitment to the cause of misogyny and patriarchy despite the valiant battles being fought for independence and respect by the women of India and their supporters.
Golden Ouch for Confession of the Year
Joint Winners: Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali & Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam
Citation: (Loshali) For either shooting down a Pakistani boat or simply shooting his mouth off -- using ‘biryani’ again as a new metaphor for Indian hospitality.
Citation: (Nikam) For his extraordinary morality and misplaced sense of pride in cooking up a ‘biryani lie’ to build public opinion against a prisoner on death row and thus expediting his execution.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for Best Science Reporting
Winner: BBC for calling the Large Hadron Collider the “Large Hardon Collider”
Citation: For provoking and arousing laughter and embarrassment around a serious scientific phenomenon by alluding to a male sexual phenomenon that is best not talked about.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for Best History Reporting
Winner: Captain Anand J Bodas
Citation: For insisting that Indians flew planes centuries before the Wright Brothers (and Air-India), that these planes flew between nations and planets, that they flew forwards, backwards and sideways --– and above all, that these were no flights of the imagination.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for ‘Labours’ in Family Planning
Winner: Sakshi Maharaj
Citation: For asking women of a certain religion to labour’ their entire adult lives producing babies and thus working tirelessly for the cause of resurgent majoritarianism.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for the most Non-Violent Statement
Winner: Justice Markandey Katju
Citation: For having an instant opinion on every issue and for his sweeping attacks as ‘imperialist collaborator’ on the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and of the founder of the Indian National Army, Subash Chandra Bose.
Golden Ouch for A Newspaper Blooper
Winner: Hindustan Times for referring to the Shakti Mills rape convicts and showing a Chinese trade delegation photo
Citation: For the best caption in the print media that outlines the care and detail that goes into addressing the photographs that accompany news items.
Joint Golden ‘Ouch’ for Best Criticism of the Press
Joint Winners: Union Minister General V K Singh and Justice Markandey Katju
Citation: For hurting the sentiments of commercial sex workers by calling media people “presstitutes” -- General V K Singh for hastily coining the word, and Justice Katju for endorsing it with his usual efficiency.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for Food Critic of the year
Winner: Shobhaa De
Citation: For a remark in delightful poor taste, elevating the lowly American popcorn above the thundering all-conquering indigenous warrior taste of Vada Pao and Misal.
Golden ‘Ouch’ for Lifetime Achievement
Winner: Subramanian Swamy
Citation: For consistently and eloquently delivering highly provocative statements with exquisite sophistry, confounding both enemies and allies alike.