Friends, jholawalas, and fellow anti-nationals, welcome to the first ever Republic of Scroll Newspalooza Awards!
If you peer deep into the functioning of our institutions, you will find that almost all of them are rotting from the inside with some combination of corruption, politics and power. Sure, they might not be infested with criminal activities, but something peculiarly shady is always going on.
Take our award shows, for example. A just and fair society should always be able to recognise those of its members who have achieved excellence in various fields. However, people get them for political reasons or for merely showing up for the ceremony. Or they outright buy them.
Therefore, in a refreshing twist, we bring you the most honest awards in the country. No corrupt juries. No Public Relations lobbying. Just some cave-dwelling recluse deciding the winners based on his personal whims and fancies.
If that doesn’t say fair and balanced, we don’t know what will.
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Silent Knight Award
Let’s begin with our soldiers, who brave the harsh conditions we put them through while they defend the country and never say anything. Hey, just because we sometimes co-opt the sacrifice of our veterans when we want to violate someone’s constitutional rights doesn’t mean they have a right to make fancy demands like asking for edible food or uncontaminated water. What’s next? Asking for wind shearers or bullets for their guns? Whatever, princess. Stop complaining about soldiers dying at the border when soldiers are dying at the border.
Follow the Leader Award
This goes to all those current and former employees of Arnab Goswami who treat him like a messiah sent to the earth to save us from the tyranny of the truth and deliver us from the evil of two sided debates. Even though his new channel hasn’t started telecasting, its social media accounts are already garnering eyeballs for continuously sounding less like they come from a news organisation and more like they’re missives from a cult. Which makes sense because while Goswami’s juniors treat him like he’s a wise sage with all the answers, he worships a higher power.
Anupam Kher Karma Chameleon Award
This, as you can see, is named after perhaps our finest living actor. His recent actions have left us in awe of his considerable abilities. Now that we know who he really is, we realise that it must have taken extraordinary talent to play a reasonable person in public for so many decades. This one is for all those privatisation enthusiasts, free-market evangelists, trickle-down economists, and anti-government libertarians who keep finding deep reserves in their heart that – unbeknownst to them – stored away all their love for socialist controls levied by the government. Turns out, their mouths might continue to pay tribute to John Galt but their heart beats for Karl Marx
Bobby Jindal Assimilation Award
Now is the time for the award named after the former Governor of Louisiana who repressed himself to such an extent that one time he claimed that the Confederate Flag was part of his heritage. That’s right. He became so American that he embraced the symbol of a regime that treated people who looked like him as slaves. This year’s winners are all those people of Indian origin living in Britain and America who voted for Brexit and the Republican candidate for President, respectively.
These wonderful people have integrated so well into the society and culture of their adopted homeland that they had the foresight to develop enough cognitive dissonance that allows them to unironically adopt anti-immigrant positions. Hey, just because they used the open border policies of various countries to their own benefit doesn’t mean that they support the rights of other people to seek a better life for themselves!
These brilliant people imagine that when demagogues like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump say nasty things about immigrants, they’re obviously not talking about them. After all they’re the good ones, right? They believe that they’re going to be left alone when these neo-Nazis target their neighbours.
First they came for Junita and I cheered from the sidelines.
Then they came for Ali and I never said anything because his halal meat shop was cutting into my restaurant’s business.
Then they came for me, and I showed them my Make America Great Again hat and they left after giving me a high five.
The FFS, Just Stuff a Sock Down There Award
This goes to all those people who stay up the entire night getting angry at the fact that somewhere on this vast planet, someone doesn’t agree with them. Whether it’s the interpretation of history or man-made symbols that they hold dear or their favourite political leader, they don’t feel secure in their own beliefs unless they force other people to begrudgingly agree with them. So they use violence, harassment, threats of sexual assault and other methods of bullying to try to silence their critics. Their lives are bereft of any joy and the only thing that provides them with a brief moment of – what they imagine is – happiness is when they are successfully able to shut down any criticism of their worldview.
I Believe in Equal Rights for Men and Women but Please Don’t Call me a Feminist Award
This, of course, goes to all those people who insist that talking about injustice is as bad as the injustice itself. Yes, that’s how the world works. You never let a single soul know how you’re suffering, and then everything turns out okay!
Why are you shoving your gayness in people’s faces by holding a pride parade?
The only thing talking about the injustices of the caste system does is remind people of its existence.
Don’t worry, your husband will one day stop beating you as long you don’t tell anyone and never offer any resistance.
To paraphrase the great Martin Luther King Jr, the long arc of history automatically bends toward justice without anyone having to lift a finger.
Now, we move on to the main event of the evening. That’s right! This is the moment we’ve all being waiting for!
Ladies and gentlemen,
And the winner of the Scroll Newspalooza Award
The Rs 100 note!
That’s right! Before November of last year, no one paid any attention to this poor chap. It didn’t have the charisma of the Rs 500 note or the arrogance of the Rs 1,000 note, but it was always there to lend a helping hand. It might not be able to buy you an elaborate meal at some posh restaurant, but you could always depend on it to get you something simple and fulfilling.
It wouldn’t go with you to the party but would show up the next morning to help you deal with your inevitable hangover. It would rub your back while you threw up and bring you coffee and aspirin. You’d laugh at it when it told you that its idea of a good date was taking you to the temple but it never let you know how offended it was. You thought it was a like stupid village bumpkin who was too nice for you but all it wanted was to make you happy.
And now that it’s the last note standing, everyone wants to get their hands on it. You took it for granted and now it’s gone, leaving you bereft and alone. You’ve had to settle for no good virtual currency, which is just a few pixels in your mobile phone. Digital money isn’t going to pick you up from your friend’s house. Or tell you how attractive you are even when you’re feeling ugly. If only you’d learn to cherish what you once had...
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Congratulations to all the winners!
Please don’t forget to collect your award goodie bag as you leave. It’s filled with great gifts like a punching bag featuring a picture of a smiling Suhel Seth, a dozen frozen beef steaks, an adult colouring book made up exclusively of pictures of Jawharlal Nehru, a front row pass to a Nivedita Menon lecture, and a one-way ticket to Pakistan.