12 April, 2021

What The Dickens

A Punjabi comedian is a riot at meetings, asking tough questions

Prabhjot Singh Gill
What The Dickens

Patients are dying in the ambulances on the way to hospital, but who’s the one grinning outside?, Bhagwant Mann, the AAP candidate in Sangrur, asks. The crowd remains quiet, somewhat stumped, so he asks another question. “Haven’t you seen the amb­ulances?” “Yes, we have,” say the crowd. “Then you have seen CM Parkash Singh Badal grinning, haven’t you?”

The gathering breaks into guffaws, having figured out  that Mann was alluding to the photograph of a smiling Badal Sr painted on ambulances bought under the National Rural Health Mission. Mann continues to take digs at political leaders and their penchant for plastering their own faces everywhere.

Mann, a successful actor and popular comedian, had joined hands with the Punjab CM’s estranged nephew Manp­reet Badal and contested the assembly elections in 2012 on a Punjab People’s Party (PPP) ticket. Which is when he made the Punjabi version of Kolaveri di the most popular song on the election trail in the state. But he still came only...

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