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‘Modi’s promises of good chai fooled Indians’

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Comedian Shyam Rangeela mimicked five famous Indian politicians having a conversation about ‘chai’.

New Delhi: Comedian Shyam Rangeela, famous for his impersonation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mimicked five famous personalities at ThePrint’s ‘Democracy Wall’ in Mumbai Monday — Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Lalu Prasad, and Baba Ramdev. They talked about personality cults, Modi’s promises of ‘good chai’, and Aadhaar linking.

Democracy Wall is a monthly free-speech campus initiative organised by ThePrint in collaboration with Facebook. The third edition of the event, held at Somaiya Vidyavihar, featured author Amish Tripathi, MP Baijayant Panda, actor Tannishtha Chatterjee, IPS officer Rekha Mishra, comedian Shyam Rangeela, and political commentator Meghnad.

Personality Cults

Rangeela, the son of a farmer from Rajasthan, holds a degree in animation. But the former participant of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge found his true calling in making people laugh.

In Monday’s sketch, he not just adopted the oratory styles of the five personalities, but also centred the performance on their favourite topics to talk about.

For Narendra Modi, once a tea-seller, the line “Laluji mere haath ki chai peejeye, vaise chai koi nahi bana sakta (Laluji try this tea I have made, nobody else can make it like I do)” conveys the confidence that usually runs through Modi’s speeches.

Rangeela as Lalu Prasad, with his characteristic pan-chewing drawl, replied that he got better tea in jail. Then Kejriwal chimed in, saying, “Yeh kya ho raha hai desh mein? Yeh sab mile hue hai ji (What is happening in this country? Everyone is colluding with each other).”

Rangeela’s Rahul Gandhi continued to deride the BJP government. Modi’s promises of good chai fool citizens and there is nothing of substance in the recipe, he said.

Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev sold Patanjali as the one-stop solution to the world’s problems. “There’s only one problem with the tea, you didn’t use Patanjali tea leaves,” Rangeela said as Ramdev.

On demonetisation

As Modi, Rangeela said the benefit of demonetisation was that, on 9 November 2016, the day after the decision was announced, all the wives in the country withdrew Rs 50,000 to give their husbands. “The smile that we were able to bring to the faces of these husbands, even the 60-year-old government (Congress) was never able to achieve,” Rangeela’s Modi said.

One ID to rule them all

Unhappy with being single and getting rejected by prospective brides, Rangeela said he joined Facebook in a bid to give the ‘Digital India’ movement a try. But when a date actually showed up, he realised her Facebook profile picture had been fake.

He then offered himself a solution via the PM: “Rangeela ji, aaj ke baad agar kisi ne Facebook par ID banayee, toh Aadhaar card link karna hoga (If anyone signs up with Facebook after today, they will have to link it with their Aadhaar card).”

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