The polling in four of the five states having assembly elections is over. The campaigns in each of the states had something unique to boast of, but those in Uttarakhand and Punjab will be remembered for their high humour quotient this time.
While the target of political satire in Punjab was the outgoing Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP regime led by Parkash Singh Badal, in Uttarakhand it was the other way round. In the hilly state, the target remained the BJP despite the government led by Harish Rawat carrying the baggage of anti-incumbency.
In Uttarakhand, it was the Harda videos that had caught the fancy of the masses. Whether one was a BJP supporter, a Congress supporter or the Left supporter - one could not help watching these videos even if it was for nothing else but a laugh.
These morphed videos projected Rawat as a film hero from either Bollywood and or from down South where the films are known for their high action content. In these videos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah were shown as the prime villains while the BJP leaders in Uttarakhand, be it former chief ministers Major General (Retired) BC Khanduri or Bhagat Singh Koshiyari or even those who had left the Congress to join the party like Vijay Bahuguna, Harak Singh Rawat etc, were shown as their cronies.
It was left to Harda aka Rawat to care of them amidst spicy dialogues and some loud music. For example, there's a video where Harda is in the role of a Dabangg cop that was originally played in the movie by Salman Khan and later he is 'Rowdy Rawat', played by Akshay Kumar Rowdy Rathore.
The creators of these videos also made full use of the latest Bollywood hit Dangal starring Aamir Khan. This video presented senior Congress leader Indira Hridayesh & Harish Rawat as the parents of the wrestlers Geeta and Babita shown as Congress candidates Mamta Rakesh from Bhagwanpur and Laxmi Rana from Rudraprayag.
Then there are a couple of videos that have been made with clips of action packed Telugu movies. In these Harda turns up as local Robin Hood and gives a sound thrashing to his opponents.
All these videos have been hits, particularly with the college-going youngsters from whom this correspondent got them.
Rawat's opponents too got into the act and a video started doing the rounds of Amitabh Bachchan's famous inebriated soliloquy from the movie Amar Akbar Anthony.
Uttarakhand has had this tradition of poll videos making their mark during campaigns. In the 2007 polls, it was the famous Nauchami Narayana by a former government employee Narendra Singh Negi that was a powerful satire on the former Congress Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tewari.
Singing it out
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls there was an audio song supported by illustrations on Khanduri's moustaches. In 2012 there were many versions of the famous song Kolaveri di that did the rounds.
Prior to Uttarakhand, there was a lot of humour that did the rounds in Punjab. There were personalities like Bhagwant Mann, Gurpreet Ghuggi and Navjot Singh Sidhu who were not only contesting but were also entertaining the crowds with their jokes and proving to be great crowd pullers.
There was a spate of 'Sukha' (the name with which Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was being addressed) jokes that did the rounds. Mann's parody of the traditional Punjabi song sung by girlsKikli Kaleer Di became such a rage that even the Congress leaders used it in their meetings.
Laugh out loud
Sidhu cracked a joke taking a pot shot at Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia who is known for twirling his moustaches at all the political functions. The joke was about a male cat drinking all the milk in a Jatt's kitchen. The Jatt comes sees milk droplets on the cat's moustache and flings the cat across the wall. When asked why he threw the cat as there was no way that the milk would return, the Jatt replies, 'I did not mind his drinking the milk but I could not stand it twirling its moustache!'.
Another joke that was common at both the Congress and AAP meetings was about the Badals - Sukhbir and his wife Harsimrat are on a plane when Harsimrat suggests that they should shower some Rs 2000 notes on the people to make them happy. Sukhbir brings down the denomination to be to Rs 100 and then it further comes down to Rs 10. The pilot then replies, "I fell like showering the entire plane on the fields to ensure that entire Punjab becomes happy."
The Akalis and the BJP could not come up with anything to counter these satirical barbs and had to rely on traditional modes of attacking the rivals through their speeches.
Now whether this humour-laced campaigns made a mark or not, can only be seen on 11 March when the results are declared.
Edited by Jhinuk Sen