The new $500,000 “secularism award” was announced recently in a joint statement by the two Foreign Ministers. The annual award has been ambitiously named the “Aman ki Asha Secular Awards”.
Since the announcement of the awards, there has been a huge fervour among many political parties, pressure groups and militant factions on both sides of the border. Key nominees for the final awards were:
- The Bharatiya Janata Party orchestrated their secularism by tying up with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind. Narendra Modi went on to announce the formation of “Mandir–Masjid–Government Conference”, which has confirmed participants like USA, UK, Iran, Israel. This will encourage “Secular Investment”—a new ideology penned by Modi himself—which would help project Gujarat as an ideal growth model in the entire world.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati inked in a Tripartite Pact to align with the Congress for the next 100 years to show their solidarity for this initiative. They also got promulgated a law that ensures 100% religion-wise reservation.
- Meanwhile, across the border, Dawood Ibrahim laid claim to the award by planning his latest “Secular Bomb Blasts”, an attempt to cause harm to people of all religions.
- The Maoists have cited their revolutionary role in bringing back Nepal to the status of a secular nation—as against a Hindu theocratic state—to lobby for the award.
- The BCCI hasn’t been far behind. They have instituted a clause by which each IPL team has to include at least 35% Muslim cricketers. Claiming this to be the first ever attempt of this sort, they have gone even further to nominate Sharad Pawar, the ideological backbone of the cricketing world, for the Nobel Peace Prize!
However, all these heavyweights were overshadowed by JuD’s Hafiz Saeed, who emerged as the winner. Following an ugly border conflict to decide whether the Pakistani or the Indian President would present the awards, it was decided that both Presidents would give the award together. Upon receiving the award, a jubilant Saeed declared: “Being Secular is our challenge to the world. Our products, the overwhelming donations will flood the world markets and destroy the US’s imperialism forever. Our Islamic policies depict secularism. We want to have peaceful elections. This does not mean that we will stop our opposition towards Ahmadiyyas, Bhagat Singh Chowk, oppression of Indian Muslims and many such un-Islamic symbolic gestures.”
Saeed was Pakistan’s nominee for this award right from the start, as there was no evidence against him. The Indian side was convinced only after unending petitions by the Bollywood community. Superstars led by newbie Veena Malik thronged the unveiling ceremony of his new exquisite range of Being Secular t-shirts and casuals. Actors-cum-activists pointed out the secular initiatives of JuD like producing films and increasing brand value, hence targeting to be more popular than the current Being Human collection.
Hardly facing any opposition for such a move, the UN refused to give an official statement, but one of our reporters managed to squeeze an opinion from a top official: “It is a bilateral matter between the two countries which we cannot interfere in. It seems secularism needs to be celebrated for it to survive.” With the way the year has gone so far, the Secular Awards 2014 are bound to get a lot more interesting!
(Ed. Priyanka Mehta, Tanay Sukumar)