Winners of Mumbai Press Club Ouch Awards

Subramanian Swamy, Rahul Gandhi, BBC and Shobhaa De, who are among recipients of the Mumbai Press Club's inaugural ‘Golden Ouch’ Awards. This is the prize whose winners might say 'Ouch', not cheese, while posing for prize photographs!

On Monday, eminent journalists Bachi Karkaria and others, on behalf of the Mumbai Press Club, gave away the ‘'prestigious' Ouch Awards in 14 categories for the craziest moments in media at a glittering function anchored by stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal. The evening of good-humored satire was a prelude to the more serious Mumbai Press Club RedInk Awards on April 30, 2015 that celebrate the finest in Indian journalism.

With outrageous statements a near-daily phenomenon, and outrage of many varieties a staple of the daily news cycle on mainstream as well as social media, the Press Club felt it was about time to honour the national champions in this new and burgeoning field with awards. Besides, there are awards for everything and given to all and sundry for any old nonsense, so why not yet another award for some real, quality nonsense?

Competition was stiff in many categories, but nowhere more so than in the race for the person who spoke most strongly in retarding the cause of women, for which the list of nominees was very, very long. In the end, Hon Minister Giriraj Singh won this award despite stiff competition from Abu Azmi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Tapas Pal, and many others.

However, there was very little competition in some categories, such as "Leadership in Absentia", for which Rahul Gandhi was the runaway winner. The only other name that came up was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, but since the awards are for recent achievements, Mr Gandhi won this award by a comfortable majority of jury votes.

Only two categories were decided unanimously with no other name even mentioned. One was Dr Subramanian Swamy, who won the Ouchie for Lifetime Achievement effortlessly. Dr Swamy has been given this prize for his tireless efforts in the field of "consistently and eloquently delivering highly provocative statements". His contributions towards inventing a whole new lexicon of outrage and abuse were deemed matchless. A surprise pulled off with great elan was 'Narendra Modi' double Vikas Mahante receiving the award on behalf of 'Subramanin Swamy'.

Mr Arvind Kejriwal, too, swept the award for Transparency in Public Life with no competition, thanks to this tweet: "Running 102 fever since yesterday. Severe loose motions. Sad that i won't be able to attend office today."

We were happy to recognize Mr Kejriwal's peerless efforts in extending transparency that extended to letting the whole country know about the state of his stomach. His tweet went where no sting video has ever gone.

It was wonderful to have such a distinguished list of winners from across the political spectrum in our very first awards. Awardees also span a remarkable range of educational achievements, from former Harvard professor Dr Swamy to IITian Mr Kejriwal to Dr Sakshi Maharaj, who apparently holds a Ph.D from a Sanskrit institute in Varanasi. We wonder if any other award in India so accurately reflects the variegated wisdom of our leaders.

The absolute howlers of the evening included a 'Presswalla' dhobi picking up the award for General V K Singh, Sharad Yadav's 'masseur' standing in for the award and a white-uniformed Taj Hotel driver being mistaken for a navy man and forced on stage as an 'unwilling representative' of Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali.

The media, too, received a small share of honour. Apart from clarifying the true meaning of the word "presstitute", which we realized was a mash of the words "press+destitute", we were also pleased to recognize the contributions of BBC in science reporting and the Hindustan Times in caption writing.

Unity in diversity is truly what makes India a great place, especially for the Golden Ouch awards. We look forward to honouring more stalwarts of outrage and foot-in-mouth in years to come.



1.      Golden Ouch For Transparency in Public Life.

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!

Winner: Arvind Kejriwal for his tweet on loose motions.

2.      Golden Ouch For Leadership in Absentia

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’!

Winner: Rahul Gandhi.

3. Golden Ouch For Advancing The Cause Of Women.

Citation: 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.

Golden 'Ouch' for Advancing the Cause of Women (and For Improving Foreign Relations

Winner: Honourable Minister Of State For Micro, Small And Medium Enterprise Giriraj Singh


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 SmritiIrani

Winner: Honourable JD(U) Chief, Sharad Yadav

4.  Silver Ouch For Advancing the Cause of Women

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.
WINNERS: Tie between two defence lawyers M.L.Sharma and A.P.Singh in the Nirbhaya case.

5.  Golden Ouch For Confession of the Year.

Citation:  For either shooting down a Pakistani boat or simply shooting his mouth off – using ‘biryani’ again as a new metaphor for Indian hospitality.

Winner: Coast Guard DIG, B.K. Loshali

6.  Golden Ouch For Confession of the Year – Part 2

Citation: 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.

Winner: Special Public Prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam

7. Golden 'Ouch' for Best Science Reporting (Rising to the Occasion!)

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.

Winner: THE BBC for calling the Large Hadron Collider the "Large Hardon Collider"

8. Golden 'Ouch' for Best HISTORY Reporting

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.

Winner:: Captain Anand J. Bodas for Educating the Masses on India’s Aeronautical Achievements in Vedic Times

9. Golden 'Ouch' for his ‘labours’ in Family Planning

Citation: For asking women of a certain religion to labour' their entire adult lives producing babies and thus working tirelessy for the cause of resurgent majoritarianism.

Winner: Sakshi Maharaj For Urging Hindu Women To Have More Children

10. Golden 'Ouch' for the most Non-Violent Statement

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.



11.  Golden Ouch For A Newspaper Blooper

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.

Winner: HT for referring to the Shakti Mills rape convicts and showing a Chinese trade delegation photo.

12.  Joint Golden 'Ouch' for the best criticism of the press

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.

Winner: Gen VK Singh & Justice Markandey Katju

13.  Golden 'Ouch' for Food Critic of the year

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.

Winner: Shobhaa De

14. Golden Ouch Lifetime Achievement

Citation: For consistently and eloquently delivering highly provocative statements with exquisite sophistry, confounding both enemies and allies alike

Winner: Subramaniam Swamy


Press Club
Content Team
Article posted on 23/04/2015

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