Tickling your funny bone
Madhusudhan: Tickling Your Funny Bone, Political satire has never been as good as it is now. Post-general election, the decimation of Congress and the rise of Bharatiya Janata Party to a level beyond anybody’s expectation have made creative minds work overtime to vent their talents.
Political satire has never been as good as it is now. Post-general election, the decimation of Congress and the rise of Bharatiya Janata Party to a level beyond anybody’s expectation have made creative minds work overtime to vent their talents, mostly in the form of cartoons, spoofs, skits, song & dance a la Bollywood.
The force behind the profusion of pun is the social media that has literally exploded this political season. If professionals like cartoonists, caricature artists and stand-up comedians let their hair down in newspapers and on the TV, amateurs and youngsters, mostly working in IT and its related services have been spinning spoofs that make even their targets – Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi – smile if any sense of humour is left in them after the historical rout in the hands of, well, one person, Narendra Modi.
The duo is closely followed by Dr Manmohan Singh who believed silence was a golden virtue in UPA-II politics and let the Madam and her boy explain the grand welfare schemes launched by his government to uplift millions of masses socially and economically. However, the Oxford-Cambridge educated economist, hailed as the architect of India’s economic reforms in the 1990s, is being blamed by his former colleagues for not opening his mouth for Congress debacle. Ironically, these were the same fellows who, at one time, had equated Dr Singh’s “Less talk” with efficiency!
These plus many more spoofs are making rounds on YouTube, WhatsApp and the Internet. The characters are anyone’s game but they are being given a twist here and there to make them more lively and contemporary.
For instance, Congress got a decent burial with the party symbol ‘hand’ jutting out of the tomb with inscription 1885-2014 on its stone. Does it need any more words to describe the Grand Old Party’s fate? Another: Here lies the party that was founded by a Briton (Allan Octavian Hume and prominent Indian leaders of the time) and ended by an Italian. PS: Anglo-Italian rivalry finally ended in India.
Another jibe mocking Sonia who appears with folding hands and her hallmark plastic smile: “My aunt couldn’t do; My husband couldn’t do; Even NTR couldn’t do; But I did it. I made Congress disappear in AP.” On the Great Vanishing Act of Congress, fun-lovers have gone berserk. Look at this blurb: Congress Magic. Only Houdini Soni could make organizations disappear. For details, contact …
Creativity has gone hi-tech with ideas borrowed from Bollywood. If readers could recall Rajnikanth’s blockbuster Robot, at one point the frustrated scientist tells his creation, “Dismantle yourself Chitti!” In this case, the scientist is Dr MaSi handing over a glove to Ma’am SoGa.
A visual reply to Congress leader Mani Shankar Iyer teasing Modi as ‘chaiwallah’ during poll campaign: Dr Manmohan Singh selling tea after Congress defeat. In the same vein, Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal selling brooms.
Now, memes. Parents take note: When you force your child into a profession against his interest/wish, the result will be Rahul Gandhi. Such punchers are galore with one liners showing Rahul as a baby. One of the best in this category is that of Amul whose ad campaigns have been topical and contemporary for decades. The poster shows the big boy Rahul biting a slice of cheese and the caption reads: The Taste Waste of India.
If voters had taken vengeance on Congress through ballot, media persons and others with a bent of creativity have added spice to a lively poll campaign to tickle our funny bone. Some leaders, for some strange reason, fit the witty frame in imaginative hands. An example is Bihar’s Lalu Prasad Yadav, a favourite with cartoonists. On his fodder scam, he was depicted as sitting in front of a heap of grass as emaciated cows and buffaloes were looking at him wistfully.
The public has had its share of fun with BJP and its leaders but it is not as acerbic as in the case of Congress. The saffron party and its parivar has been shown in a more positive light, leading to the belief that tech-savvy youth brigades of that party have deliberately painted the overall party picture rosy (or saffron).
For example, Modi emerging out of a lotus flower. Both have religious connotations. Lotus is the BJP symbol as well as the seat of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and her consort is Vishnu. What it conveys is anybody’s guess. Pantomime shows on YouTube give viewers a visual treat with BJP top brass dancing to popular Hindi beats.Modi is not spared, of course, in creating an Indian Uncle Sam. A poster designed on the lines of KFC with its mascot Colonel Sanders replaced by Modi and the blurb says, “Coming soon to Gujarat.
100 % Jain KFC. Khakra Fafda Chakli (Gujarati delicacies).
What has made the post-poll scene more interesting is the people’s participation in a jest way for plenty of laughs. More heartening is the way recipients of these messages enjoy the humour generated at the expense of mostly Congress leaders. Nevertheless, the digital world’s banter is the real celebration of our democratic process. If political leaders, in defeat or in victory, in legislatures or outside of them, treat each other with less rancor and in a more light-hearted manner, they will help spread joie de vivre.
PS: Nearer home, YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy is planning to launch a return Odaarpu Yatra where people will comfort him until next Andhra Pradesh elections. (WhatsApp).