The worst thing you have to dodge around this time of the year is the number of “lists” that float around—from “most intellectual men and women in my phone contact list” to “top 10 Dalits we managed to send friend requests to this year” to “best exes who replied to my drunk texts” to “best vegan meat restaurants that gave me food poisoning in 2018”. But what’s been consistently cruel is that in our effort to be liberal and inclusive, we often tend to overlook the most meritorious human beings. Those who work day in and day out to fight privilege with, well, more privilege.
But not anymore. We present to you the definitive list of the most remarkable Savarnas of 2018. This is undoubtedly the only list you should be reading. Ignore the other pointless ones, I say!
(Very) gentle disclaimer: Keeping in mind the greater good of the society and the lasting effects of climate change, the names in the list have been slightly tampered with—only to keep this more interactive and involve your active mind in predicting them. For every name you guess correctly, gift yourself a bottle of whatever your budget allows.
Here we go.
15. Well, technically speaking, Kejri Wala is long forgotten. He has become like one of those Shahrukh Khan movies from the 1990s which you once loved dearly and wrote its name in capitals in every slam book at school. But when the movie plays on TV now, you quietly change the channel out of overwhelming embarrassment and wonder “what the hell was wrong with me then?” But a more important thing to wonder is what happened to all those who quit their jobs to join his party? Our deepest condolences to each one of them. For old times’ sake, Kejri Wala at number 15. But seriously, wasn’t it too accurate that a documentary film on him was titled An Insignificant Man
14. Pan and Patwardhan has supposedly come up with a new movie called Reason this year, for no particular reason. As someone who has created a viable market for movies on riots and the suffering of the oppressed and marginalised, his work has been phenomenal. Pan and Patwardhan has been a towering inspirational figure for young and angry Savarna men and women who have purchased an expensive video camera but are not sure what to do with it. The rumour that the “angry young man” characters that Amitabh Bachchan once played were inspired by our dear Pan and Patwardhan’s real life antics is not actually a rumour, it’s a fact. Pan and Patwardhan at number 14.
13. There is nothing more radical than a Brahmin man who hasn’t shaved for weeks and is also willing to be self-critical. By holding the poster “Smash Brahminical Patriarchy”, Twitter’s Jack Parsley has effortlessly gained a place in our list. All those wondering how Jack Parsley is a Brahmin are requested to remind themselves that as per the Aryan theory, the Brahmin man and the White man are indeed related to each other. Even though journalist Chitra Subramaniam said very mean things about Jack and his looks in a television debate, we have to understand it as a friendly intra-community banter between sub-sects. Otherwise, they are all part of one happy family. Honorary Brahmin Jack Parsley is therefore at number 13.
12. Chetan Baghdad has been single-handedly responsible for lowering the market value of IIT and IIM graduates since he opened his pen/mouth. But this year has surely been more remarkable than ever. During the #MeToo movement, the nation got to know that his supposed “wooing” skills are worse than his writing skills. Rumour has it that on reading the screenshots of his chats and mails, the directors of IIMs and IITs and his in-laws held a joint meeting to discuss ways to send him to Pluto or any other non-existent planet. But on the brighter side, unlike Arjun Kapoor, they at least didn’t immortalise Chetan Baghdad ‘s real life character in a movie. That said, we all have to be thankful to him. For making us realise that we are all better writers. Thank you, Chetan Baghdad. You are at 12.
11. To be honest, there are only two entities who have benefited out of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. One is the Congress party and the other is Ramlakshmana Guha. Ramlakshmana Guha has written several books ranging from Before Gandhi to Behind Gandhi to Between Gandhi to every other possible permutation. Even the Congress party has sort of forgotten Gandhi these days. But Ramlakshmana Guha has been working hard to keep Gandhi’s legacy alive because business matters. As per the need of these woke times, Ramlakshmana Guha recently even went on to award casteless certificates to Gandhi. But then, this year hasn’t been particularly good. The Ghana University removed Gandhi’s statue citing some of his racist writings—which means Ramlakshmana Guha has to find ways to give out raceless certificates now. So little time and so many certificates to award. Ramlakshmana Guha at number 11.
10. The Indian Cow has sort of been losing its significance, no? I mean, cow vigilantism is certainly still very alive and kicking, but in the public narrative, The Indian Cow hasn’t been as popular as last year. Even in the Gauraksha hub of Alwar in Rajasthan, the BJP performed badly in recent elections. In progressive liberal circles, Goumutra jokes suddenly sound too bland and boring now. Whatever happened to The Indian Cow, really? Treated like one’s own mother in 2017, it’s been getting the step-motherly treatment in 2018. Is it possible that demonetisation has starved the cash cows? Who knows?! The Indian Cow at number 10.
9. Sushi Tharoor has made it to the list primarily because he is the only “Savarna Liberal Revolutionary” to have such luscious hair on his head. From demanding reparation from Britain to explaining why women should wear sarees more often to putting his pocket dictionary to more than optimal use, Sushi Tharoor has been one of a kind. If all this was not enough, he outdid the Hinduvadis this year with his book Why I am a Hindu. I mean, when was the last time we met such a charming man who had both hair and a vocabulary? Irrespective of what any Goswami might insinuate, Sushi Tharoor is a man any woman would die for. Irresistible and at number 9.
8. Reports say that most Indians have only read two books in English, 2 States and The God of Small Things. So, it’s obvious that we have a spot for Arun-Qwerty Roy here. Apart from introducing Ambedkar to a nation filled with Ambedkar statues, Arun-Qwerty Roy has previously introduced the Bible to Catholics, Marx to Engels and even oppression to the oppressed. Because she has been speaking for the marginalised and oppressed in India, several intellectuals have been lobbying for an honorary Canadian citizenship for her this year. The marginalised and oppressed are however requested to continue rotting in India. But come to think of it, once she gets the Canadian citizenship, we will have to hold debates to find who is the more woke Canadian—Trudeau or Arun-Qwerty Roy? But for now, Arun-Qwerty Roy at number 8.
7. It is tempting to come to the conclusion that High High T Madras or for that matter any High High T is a modern day Agraharam. But High High T Madras takes it even further and practices untouchability in very creative ways in their mess canteens. The institute has supposedly conducted a recent referendum among its native inhabitants (i.e. upper caste students) and sent their recommendation to the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The recommendations univocally state High High T Madras campus should be renamed as “New Mylapore”. For those who are too lazy to Google what and where Mylapore is, let us just say that it is a place in Chennai filled with very native inhabitants. That even the RSS headquarters takes inspiration and exchanges notes with High High T Madras’ Vivekananda study circle deserves a mention here. High High T Madras at number 7.
6. Camel Hassan is certainly the Trump of Indian Twitter. His recklessly cryptic tweets have created job opportunities among bird sound interpreters and other language experts. While it is not easy to make sense of his politics, it is widely agreed that he is ahead of his time and that we will eventually understand his words in a decade or two. Though this logic didn’t work for his movies, let us hope it at least works for his politics. While several people are still wondering why he made the sudden jump to politics, the audience of his recent movies agree that it was a wise move. After MGR’s unfortunate death, Tamil Nadu hasn’t had a fair-looking politician in a long time. But thankfully, not anymore. Cheers to more tweets and less movies. Camel Hassan’s gibberish at number 6.
5. Intellectuals or some such people have been fighting over the veracity of Ra-dull Gandhi’s recent viral image where he is seen wearing a janeu. This when his party itself has proudly claimed that he is a “Janeu-dhari Hindu”. But why blame him? The (not so) young Ra-dull Gandhi’s aggressive Hindu posturing is said to have produced positive results in the recent assembly elections. From peddling soft Hindutva to retaining his appeal among liberal Savarnas, Ra-dull Gandhi’s politics is a cocktail that no true-blooded Savarna can resist. It’s probably time for the nation to embrace the Nehru-Gandhi family’s mediocrity again. Ra-dull Gandhi’s invisible janeu at number 5.
4. There was a time when one could peacefully sing in one’s own bathroom. But not anymore. These days, you open your bathroom and see TM Kithna reciting his revolutionary Carnatic songs there. TM Kithna has given a completely new twist to the word “inclusion”. He supposedly claims that if he is included somewhere, then it qualifies as an inclusive space. So, he has been singing in slums and beaches and churches and bathrooms and spaceships and underground bunkers. But if only a Brahmin man can save the (Carnatic) world, who are we to stop it? TM Kithna’s punchline says “I don’t care who you are and where you are. But I will find you and sing my songs” and is at number 4.
3. For someone who has inspired the role played by actor Madhavan in Maniratnam’s Guru, you would think Yes Gur Murthy would be a very charming person in real life. But then, charm is not everything and this list is not on how charming a person is. So, leave that aside please. Yes Gur Murthy has been an important expert on economics and accurately predicted that the ₹2,000 rupee note had a secret Nano GPS chip embedded. And because a genius of this kind should not be wasted, Yes Gur Murthy was appointed on the RBI’s board. The nation’s currency and banana chips are in safe hands now. Also, it is said that Yes Gur Murthy’s has interesting hobbies that include reciting Sanskrit slokas in his dreams and meddling with the Tamil Nadu government when awake. A truly meritorious all-rounder at number 3. Jai Hind, people!
2. It is an open secret that UPSC aspirants making it to the interview stage are expected to mention Jawahar Lol Nehru as their most favourite leader. The liberal media, academia, Congress-initiated schemes and Children’s Day celebrations have made him a cult figure we can’t afford to resist. If that wasn’t enough, Modi has been tirelessly reminding us of Jawahar Lol Nehru on a daily basis. Even if we have to acknowledge that 2 out of the top 3 positions in this list are primarily available only for Brahmin men, it is quite a feat that Jawahar Lol Nehru has managed to sustain it since 1947. Though personally, I think it is slightly exaggerated when Modi holds Jawahar Lol Nehru responsible for even the plumbing issues in his attached bathroom. Jawahar Lol Nehru at number 2. Congratulations to everyone who has made this possible year after year.
1. And this brings us to the top slot. If you are a Savarna individual reading this piece, then let me categorically state here that you are the number one in this list. Whoever you are, congratulations to you. Because you have survived this brutal society. From battling evil reservations to being forced into exile in the US because of aggressive Bahujan politics to struggling to find a pure vegetarian restaurant during European tours to tolerating the fish smell from violent neghbourhoods to being ridiculed if you are not woke and being ridiculed even more if you are woke … If all this wasn’t enough, even autocorrect changes the spelling of “Savarna” to “Shawarma”. Can life get any crueler for you? And yet you survive all this with your true merit. You are a real winner.
And if you are a non-Savarna individual who is reading this piece, I don’t understand why you are wasting your time here. Go do something useful, no?