Padma Bhushan for Jaspal Bhatti
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The Sardar of satire, the late Jaspal Bhatti, will be awarded Padma Bhushan posthumously.
According to the list approved by President Pranab Mukherjee, Bhatti, along with the late superstar Rajesh Khanna, will be honoured with this award. A conferment of 108 Padma awards has been announced, and these comprise four Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan and 80 Padma Shri Awards.
Writer, director, actor and comedian Bhatti died in an accident on October 25 last year. Bhatti, the king of comedy, was 57 and was on his way to promote his last film, Power Cut. He was a stinging social and political commentator who gave serious issues a brilliant twist of wit and humour even as he called himself the 'Ulta Pulta' (topsy-turvy) man after one of his popular TV shows.
Bhatti sought to use humour as a weapon of change and invested it in his shows — from his first sitcom Flop Show that aired on Doordarshan in 1989, to Ulta Pulta and Nonsense Private Limited. He wrote, directed and starred in all of them along with wife Savita Bhatti.
At a time when Punjabi cinema had hit rock bottom, Bhatti directed his first Punjabi film, a spoof on Punjab Police and politicians called Mahaul Theek Hai in 1999. It was a major hit, and the following years saw Bhatti in Bollywood films too. He also set up India's first 'joke factory' and school of comedy, MAD Arts School, in Mohali.