The best kind of parodies are indistinguishable from the real deal, and Indian Twitter is currently guffawing at a hilarious new series.
Know The Nation is publishing something called “50 word Idiot”, which appears to be a take on Shekhar Gupta’s The Print’s 50 Word Edits. Each day, The Print publishes a short opinionated piece on how its editorial team views world events. Like with most of The Print’s coverage, these are heavily biased against the Modi government, and give generous amounts of poorly-informed and completely unsolicited advice. This 50 Word Edit, for instance, confidently asserts that the government doesn’t have innovative ideas, and then proceeds to come up with a radical new solution to grow jobs — vaccinations.
Now Know The Nation has started publishing something called 50 Word Idiot. The 50 Word Idiot has the exact same style and as The Print’s 50 Word Edits, down to the typeface and the colours. Most hilariously, Know The Nation also manages to capture The Print’s smug certitude as it holds forth on world events.
“Modi would be better off accepting that in a diverse country like India, people die every day. Some might die at the hands of a political party. Post-poll bloodbath in Bengal was only natural. Modi should move on from politicising the issue and instead find ways to work together with Mamata,” says the 50 Word Idiot on the Bengal violence.
After the US decided to give a TRIPS waiver which would allow the export of vaccine technology to India, 50 Word Idiot had said that it was a reflection of India’s “bungling image”, and that it was “too little too late.”
Similarly, this 50 Word Idiot attacked Marcon for his “misplaced activism” in telling India that it doesn’t need to listen to lectures on vaccines.
Another 50 Word Idiot on Macron said that he was “fishing for post retirement benefits” with his praise of India.
And another said that Tejasvi Surya exposing the bed allocation scam was an “attack on the idea of India”.
These 50 Word Idiots aren’t real, but aren’t particularly far from what The Print’s 50 Word Edits are usually like. The Print has been spectacularly wrong on multiple occasions — it had published an opinion piece in January which said there would be no big second wave in India, and its National Affairs Editor thinks that a lakh is the same as one million. But it continues to dish out smug opinions with a self-assuredness that can only come to journalists — all other fields have accountability, but journalists can continue to spew opinions on topics well above their pay grade with a confidence that’s fascinating to behold.