The Weekend Leader - Stoning politicos

A factory to help politicians who lay foundations but do nothing after that

Jaideep Sarin   |   Chandigarh


Vol 2 | Issue 48

After being a constant thorn in the flesh of self-serving politicians, greedy builders and oily middlemen, satirist-cum-actor Jaspal Bhatti has now ventured into a new field.

He has set up a 'factory' to manufacture foundation stones to cater to the "ever increasing" demand from ministers and politicians.

Satirist-actor Jaspal Bhatti at his ‘National Foundation Stone Factory’ near Chandigarh (Photo: IANS)

The comedian has put up a board titled Jaspal Bhatti's National Foundation Stone Factory at a plot he owns in Mohali town of Punjab, adjoining Chandigarh. The 'factory' promises an all-weather supply of foundation stones to bigwigs for all occasions.

"This factory will always work and will be a great success. Foundation stones are always in demand and we have no dearth of these. This is the most unique factory in the country. We will cater to the big demand for foundation stones," said Bhatti, famous for his TV satires "Ulta-Pulta" and "Flop Show" and his comical roles in Bollywood movies.

The students and faculty of MAD Arts School - Bhatti's acting school at Mohali - dressed up as construction workers during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the factory.

The first foundation stone of the 'factory' was unveiled this week by SAB TV's executive vice president and business head Anooj Kapoor.

Bhatti said with assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and some other states around the corner, his foundation stone factory will only "do well".

"In fact, we should bring an act in parliament which specifies that every minister and politician should have a minimum quota for laying foundation stones every month," Bhatti suggested.

"Sometimes ministers forget they have already laid the foundation stone for a bridge and they re-do it. Sometimes, the foundation stones get lost in grass and bushes after remaining unattended for years," he pointed out.

Anooj Kapoor said: "We decided to associate with Jaspal Bhatti's Nonsense Club's activity as they are doing this political satire as a tribute to (cartoonist) R.K. Laxman."

The factory and Bhatti are scheduled to feature on a show on the channel.

Bhatti, an electrical engineer by profession, set up his Nonsense Club in Chandigarh in 1982, when he was studying engineering at the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) here, to raise social issues through satire.

Among the issues Bhatti has highlighted earlier through his "Nonsense Club" are corruption at high places, high onion prices, bride-burning, bridegroom sale, fuel price hikes, blackmarketing of cinema tickets, adulterated food, heavy school bags and sycophancy.

One of the earliest of street shows he did was to highlight the silting of Chandigarh's famous Sukhna Lake in 1984, when the water level at the manmade lake was so depleted that its bed was visible at many places.

Bhatti and his club members ran into the dry areas of the lake, pitched wickets on it quickly and started playing cricket before police got them to wrap up things.

"R.K. Laxman has been my greatest inspiration. His cartoons on foundation stones inspired me to put up the foundation stones factory. It is going to be a money-spinning factory," Bhatti said. - IANS

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