‘Punjab has turned into land of free-flowing liquor’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/punjab-has-turned-into-land-of-freeflowing-liquor/

‘Punjab has turned into land of free-flowing liquor’

Visitors to the busy Baddaur House market witnessed a strange sight on Saturday.

Students of comedian Jaspal Bhatti’s film school enact a streetplay at Baddaur House market

Visitors to the busy Baddaur House market witnessed a strange sight on Saturday.

A woman was mercilessly beating her drunken husband while the crowd cheered and clapped. Turns out,the two were students of Mad Arts,the film school run by comedian Jaspal Bhatti,enacting a streetplay titled Thekeo Theke.

Written by Jaspal Bhatti,the play takes a closer look at how Punjab is slowly being submerged by a wave of liquor and drug addiction.

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The powerful nexus between the police,politicians and smugglers has been

explored fully to predict a bleak future for the younger generation.

In a scene,two drunkards sing gaily: “Theke khul gaye ne tha tha te…ghar jake ki karna…biwi kardi hai ka ka ve…” But the message seems to be lost when we find people staggering from one liquor vend to another.

CEO of Mad Arts,Savita Bhatti,said: the Land of Five Rivers has turned into a ‘land of free flowing liquor’.

“The number of Punjabis entering the Army now is dismally low. The addiction has completely destroyed the younger generation. Winning medals in sports is still a dream,but if an international liquor-drinking competition is held,we could win the title easily,” she said.

The play was directed by Anoop Sharma,faculty head (Acting) of Mad Arts.

“I also favoured the drink before I became part of

this endeavour. But now I completely shun the habit,” he said.

Head of Production,Lalli Gill,said: “With the taverns mushrooming all around,alcohol abuse has engulfed the state and is destroying the youth.”

As part of its anti-addiction campaign,the institute has staged the play about 20 times in various cities including Jalandhar,Chandigarh,Amritsar,Ganganagar and Abohar and resolved to showcase 52 renditions of the play during the year.

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The students,who performed in the play,include Bunty,Harsimaran,Rajani,Navdeep,Amrinder,Nachitter and Sahil. Musical support was provided by Charanjeet and Gursharan.

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