They enjoy life Idiots' way in Punjab!
A group of people in Rayya town in Punjab have joined hands to form a unique Idiots' Club.india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 14:18 IST
A group of people in Rayya town in Punjab have joined hands to form a unique Idiots' Club.
Patterned on the lines of satirist and TV artist Jaspal Bhatti's five-minute takes on contemporary events, the club takes the issues out of the idiot box to the ground.
Today, the Idiots' Club has swelled into hundreds of members joining it from various walks of life.
Individuals running roadside food-joints, electric shops or engineers or doctors, all enjoy it together. Their antics are satires on civic authorities and politicians and unscrupulous holy men who dupe the common man.
Subjects may range from abuse of money power in polls to a rising trend of godly men professing cures for all ills, body and soul included.
"We feel strongly about things like the talks about sale of votes in the upcoming Assembly elections. It is a well-known fact that politicians trade free liquor to garner votes. So we have these mock stalls that gift bottles with country and imported liquor labels, say ten bottles for one vote," said Rajinder Rikhi, the President and brain behind starting Idiots' Club.
"We want people to wake up to the fact that their lives are being ruined by ruthless politicians who will go to any length to save their seat," Rikhi added.
Members call themselves social activists and confer in the most unusual of places like cremation grounds to decide on hold 'high-level' talks on significant issues in their own way.
"We inaugurated our club from a cremation ground and keep holding our key meetings there as we wish to clear superstitions from the minds of individuals in our society. It pains us to notice individuals running to holy men for day-to-day troubles. Our President chose the cremation ground for conferences to rubbish myths about the place," said a veteran member Rajinder Dhir, an electrician.
Every time the members set out after shouting "Victory to the Idiots" and reach the town square where they set up a mock trade, at times bartering people's votes for their bottles of liquor. The bottles actually contain water in it.
But as soon as the team has people's attention, they get to the main act of delivering actual message in lighter vein like enacting to distribute liquor in lieu of votes. The acts are generally appreciated by one and all.
"I am really impressed with the dedication and drive of these members of the 'Idiot Club'. They are well-meaning individuals with courage to speak their minds and many more of us should join them," said Gurmeet Singh, an onlooker who was stunned by the exercise.
In one such action to bring authorities notice towards citizens' plight, the Idiots' Club members dumped truckloads of garbage before the local civic administration headquarters.
This garbage had been lifted from all over the city and the men left a 'Happy New Year' banner atop the pile before departing.
The action came after months of appealing before the civic administration to clean up their act and failing to get action. The Idiots' Club worked overtime on New Year's Eve and gave the officials the taste of their own medicine.
Not just that, the members also volunteer to social work when the need arises. Rikhi, the President of the club, claims that he has donated blood at least 28 times.
First Published: Jan 17, 2007 14:18 IST