The ceremony began with the lighting of the lamp by the chief guest, under-trial ex-MP Chhota Lathait, accused of several abductions and attempts to murder. In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Association expressed his gratitude to Lathait and congratulated him for managing a bail to be able to attend the ceremony.
The Best Debutant award (male) was given to the ex-telecom minister A Raja, for his extraordinary performance in the Rs-1.76-lakh-crore 2G-spectrum scam, while the Best Debutant award (female) was given to a stellar performer in the same scam, K. Kanimozhi.
The chief guest, in his speech, said that he was very happy with the potential shown by these two newbies. He asserted that such politicians are needed to show the world that India isn’t a poor country; nor are Indians poor. “The future of India is in safe hands. We still have regular scams to keep the CBI and you journalists busy,” he told the gathering.
Ratan Tata won the recognition for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role, whilst Sunanda Pushkar was declared the Style Icon. Anna Hazare gleefully accepted the Best Actor in a Negative Role for his fast-unto-death in April, which had the government in a fix and crippled for a week.
The Adarsh Housing Society Scam bagged the Spiciest Scam award, while the award for the Best Screenplay went to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The award for the Best Sound Recording was given to the Niira Radia tapes. Amar Singh got the Best Drama and the Most Dependable Newsmaker awards.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to the legendary evergreen Ayodhya dispute, which has kept the judiciary on its toes for years now, and will continue to do so after this encouragement. Several finalists, who had either said or done something controversial in the past year, were given mementos.
Big man Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got the two biggest awards of the night—Best Acting and Best Non-Acting. The award for Best Direction had a single nominee, Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
In his conclusive speech, the chief guest called for youngsters to join politics and learn more about India and newsmaking. “In our days, we didn’t have silly news channels and it was difficult. Today, things are easier; capitalise upon them, and make news. It’s up to our youth.” For once, the myriad magazines and channels were unanimous and did not fight for exclusive coverage rights. The highlights can, therefore, be viewed on all channels tomorrow at 8pm.