It wasn’t enough that Calicut University created The Golden Mother awards last year for “women who have secured superior achievements in diverse walks of life and have, alongside, fulfilled the responsibilities of motherhood in an exemplary fashion.”
It wasn’t enough that the campus committee registered its protest and women students objected to the award. Or that the university’s move drew plenty of criticism from activists and academics, while everyone from The Hindu to Taslima Nasreen wrote about the awards.
Thing is, the ball had already been set in motion, so why stop? Never mind the university was already something of a laughing stock. This week, it went on give out those awards to candidates it thought were appropriately deserving.
If back in November we thought Vaanthi wasn’t subtle enough a response, we’re plain speechless at the awards that were eventually given out this week.
Dear reader, sample a few:
- Best Physically Challenged Mother
- Best Teacher Mother
- Best Sports Mother
- Best Social Worker Mother
- Best Tribal Mother
In an article titled ‘Calicut University witnesses the mother of all mockeries’, TOI reports:
One of the awardees, PG Ratnam, a 57-year-old schoolteacher who had fought all her life to end discrimination against the differently abled in the society, was startled when she was announced as the ‘Best Physically Challenged mother’ by vice chancellor M Abdul Salam at the function.
The award winner did not hide her displeasure and said that she was pained at receiving the award in the name of disability. Ratnam, hailing from Thrissur, had got the job of schoolteacher at the age of 45 after a legal fight spanning 22 years. She has been in the forefront of empowering differently abled people all her life.
Unsurprisingly, all those mummies weren’t exactly scrambling to enter themselves for the awards.
The response to the award was not as enthusiastic as we had expected. We had received only 107 applications, though we had expected more.
Ah well. Who else suspects the awards will be back to haunt us again?