Popular comedian and film director Jaspal Bhatti, who touched a chord with the masses with his humorous take on problems plaguing the common man, died when his car rammed into a roadside tree in the wee hours today.
The satirist's son Jasraj who was driving the car and actress Surilie Gautam, the heroine of his film Power Cut
which is to be released tomorrow, were seriously injured in the mishap, police said.
The 57-year-old actor-director, who made his way into the hearts of his people with his satirical shows like Ulta Pulta
and Flop Show
, was on a tour to promote the film when the accident took place near Shahkot in Nakodar area of the district at 2:30 AM, Bhatti's associate Vinod Sharma told PTI
They were rushed to a private hospital in Jalandhar where Bhatti was declared brought dead.
"His body was brought to the hospital after 3 AM and after medical examination he was declared dead," said Dr Harpreet Singh.
Bhatti leaves behind his wife Savita, a son and a daughter Raabiya.
Sharma said that Bhatti was going to Jalandhar from Bhatinda for the promotion of his Punjabi film which is based on the frequent power cuts in Punjab.
Bhatti's son Jasraj and Gautam have been referred to a Ludhiana hospital now.
According to doctors, they are in a stable but critical condition.
Born on March 3, 1955 at Amritsar, Bhatti graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh as an electrical engineer.
During his college days, he was popular for his street plays which were spoofs ridiculing corruption in society. Before venturing into television, he was a cartoonist for the The Tribune
newspaper in Chandigarh.
His satire on the Punjab police Mahaul Theek Hai
was his first directorial venture in Punjabi language. He played the role of Jolly Good Singh, a guard, in the movie 'Fanaa'. He also starred in the comedy Punjabi film Jijaji
Bhatti and his wife Savita competed in a reality show Nach Baliye
in 2008. The couple put their best foot forward to entertain the audiences with their dancing and comic skills.
The cremation is expected to take place later this evening after his body is brought here after completion of various legal formalities, including post-mortem, Sharma said.
Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni condoled the death of Jaspal Bhatti.
Condolences poured in from all quarters. Here are some of the reactions:
Not only did he contribute in his own way to reform society, he did it with a light and humorous touch, which endeared him to generations of viewers and audiences. Bhatti's work using the medium of television and cinema to hold up a mirror to society and highlighting the problems of the common man will long be remembered. In his unfortunate passing away the country has lost a person who pioneered a unique perspective on probity in public life.
-- Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Bhatti will always be remembered for his portrayal of the problems of the common man. He truly pioneered the comedy content on TV especially through Doordarshan. His TV shows left a deep imprint on the minds of the common people. He always regaled the people with his subtle, quiet and honest humour. I pray to God that the family gathers the strength to overcome this untimely crisis.
-- Ambika Soni, Minister for Information & Broadcasting
His (Jaspal Bhatti) hard-hitting yet light-hearted satire touched the public conscience and left a deep impact on everyone. The cartoonist, actor and filmmaker in him struck a chord with and won the hearts of millions of people.
-- Pawan Kumar Bansal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Bhatti would be long remembered for his television series 'Flop Show' and mini capsules 'Ulta Pulta'.
-- Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Punjab Chief Minister
Bhatti had mastered the art of highlighting issues related to public
through satire and humour, and presented them before the people through
TV programmes, forcing people to ponder on them.
-- Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
measure of the popularity of this original crusader against corruption
can be gauged from a glance at Twitter today, some of the reactions on
which are given below:
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