‘No, Prime Minister’ launched - but the PM stays away

April 4th, 2009 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) “No Prime Minister” was an apt title for a cartoon collection released here Saturday evening with Manmohan Singh staying away as it would have be an “embarrassment” to launch a work on himself. But politicos Amar Singh and Shatrughan Sinha had plenty up their sleeves to send the audience into splits.
“Jai ho, Vijay ho,” Sinha proclaimed, parodying the Congress clarion call for the Lok Sabha elections to turn it into his Bharatiya Janata Party hopes of victory.

“I have come here for the author (cartoonist Sudhir Tailang), not for the prime minister. Prime minister’s come and go,” Samajwadi party general secretary Amar Singh, who released the collection, declared.

So, what is the collection all about?

One cartoon portrayed a young slum boy holding the Oscar for the film “Slumdog Millionaire” and congratulating the prime minister saying: “You deserve it! You made the film possible by turning India into a great slum in the past sixty years.”

Another depicts Manmohan Singh singing: “Sonia Ji ki jai ho”, again a take off on Jai Ho.”

Yet another has Manmohan Singh, in his signature turban, frantically writing and rewriting 1.2.3 on the blackboard, standing on the pedestal holding the first prize for the price rise.

Inflation, terrorism, nuclear deal, trust vote congress’s campaigning for the present election - the metamorphosis of Manmohan Singh through all of this during his tenure make up for the 150 cartoons in the book.

Nearly 150 people including well-know dancer Shobhna Narayan, hair-stylist Javed Habib and socialite Shalu Jindal were present at the launch.

Tailang said he had approached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) requesting Manmohan Singh to inaugurate the book, but he got a reply three months later saying it would be “awkward” and “embarrassing” for him to release a book on himself.

To this Sinha sarcastically said elections are around the corner and Manmohan Singh will not be embarrassed any more. “Jai Ho and Vijay Ho.”

Tailang said that he chose the title deliberately to pun with the satirical British sitcoms “Yes Minister” and its successor “Yes Prime Minister”.

“The cartoons trace the metamorphosis of Manmohan Singh, a person who symbolises the establishment and the powers that be. There are some caricatures of him while he was finance minister during Narasimha Rao’s government but essentially it is these five years,” he added.

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