Vijay Ishwarlal Pawar, aka VIP, Stand-up Comedian

Vijay Ishwarlal Pawar, aka VIP, Stand-up Comedian

Asit Dixit and Umesh Patil |
February 19, 2019

“Uski maa bolegi Modiji baar-baar aap kyon jeet rahe ho. Mere khyal se Rahul bhi Modiji ko hee vote de raha hai wo bhi Modiji ko hee vote de raha hai Pappu (His mother [Sonia Gandhi] asking Modiji why he has been winning all the time. I think son Rahul is sure voting Modiji. That Pappu).”

His biggest on-stage moment came in 2008 when Vijay Ishwarlal Pawar, aka VIP, won the second season of the comedy reality contest show Comedy Circus on Sony TV. A past master in mimicking, both humans and animals, Pawar has since then attained a celebrity status only few artistes succeed to attain. You name an actor and he would amaze you by mimicking the actor then and there.

Our team met the comedian at a restaurant in Thane. As soon as we began to brief the comedian on our objective, the comedian tells us that he has already campaigned for the BJP and shares with us his experience of working for Ramdas Tadas, BJP MP from Wardha. Finding him on the same side, we tell him that we are approaching celebrities like him who could help us promote the BJP on social media in the run-up to 2019 general elections. Pawar tells us that he has opened a new account on Facebook by the name of VIP Comedian as his old account, managed by somebody else, was closed down by Facebook. His FB page VIP Comedian has about 3,000 followers.

Eager to jump on the bandwagon, Pawar asks, “Toh apne ko ye kya karnaa hoga sabse pehle (Then, what will have I to do first).” You see, we tell him, we would provide you the required content and you would post the same on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, in your own words. Ideas begin to float in the mind of the comedian. Referring to the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan, he tells us how he will promote it on social media, “Fir ye aise karne ka hai ki koi aadmi kachra utha raha hai koi bhi aadmi kachra utha raha hai main shoot kar raha hoon ‘Dosto lag raha hai ki desh badal raha hai. abhi abhi dekhiye wo saamne dekhiye wo aadmi kachra utha raha hai matlab usse lagne laga hai ki Bharat ko saaf karna chahiye ye Swach Bharat Abhiyan hai’, aise bolenge, ‘ab logon ne serious lena shuru kar diya hai ab jaage wo’ (Then, I will do it like this. Suppose a man picking up trash. I will shoot him doing so and say ‘Friends, the country is changing for good. Look this man is cleaning the garbage. He now thinks India should be made a clean country. Now, people like him have started taking Swach Bharat Abhiyan seriously. They have awoken’).” Yes, since this will come from your personal profile, it will carry a lot of credibility and people will sure believe it.

Apart from appreciating the initiatives taken by the BJP government, he will have to defend the party at times. Taking the Karnataka elections as an example, we suggest, you can say the real winner was the BJP. Agreeing, he says, “Haan, haan, bilkul sach mein maine aise hee nahi bola sach mein hua hai aisa. Aaj desh ka naam har logon kee zubaan par hai out of India mein. Isase pehle mujhe pata nahi tha mera pradhan mantri pehle ka pradhan mantri kya karta tha mujhe sach mein pata nahi tha kya karta tha kya nahi karta tha (Yes, yes. You are right. What I am telling is not a lie. Today, our country’s name is on the lips of the people out of India. Earlier, I really never knew what my Prime Minister was doing).” He will have to lampoon the leaders of rival political parties like Rahul Gandhi. The comedian promptly agrees to do what we ask. He tells us how he would lampoon the Congress party leader by mimicking his mother Sonia Gandhi. “Uski maa bolegi Modiji baar-baar aap kyon jeet rahe ho. Mere khyal se Rahul bhi Modiji ko hee vote de raha hai wo bhi Modiji ko hee vote de raha hai Pappu (His mother [Sonia Gandhi] asking Modiji why he has been winning all the time. I think son Rahul is sure voting Modiji. That Pappu),” he says. Don’t name Rahul, we caution him. Yes, of course, you can say Pappu. He as much promptly corrects himself saying. “Lagta hai mera baba Pappu wo khud bhi Modiji ko vote de raha ([Mimicking Sonia] Looks like my son Pappu himself has been voting Modiji).”

Is the agenda clear to you, we ask. The comedian replies with a crisp “Haan (Yes)”. He understands it well how he has to play it out on social media. “Main baar-baar ye bolne ka ‘Dekho koi main Modi Bhakt nahi hoon lekin jo mujhe dikh raha hai wo main aapko bata raha hoon’ taaki logon ke dimaag mein fir ye ho jayega ki main Modi ke liye logon ko uksa raha hoon ye bol-bolke logon ke dimaag mein daalna padega (I tell the people time and again, ‘Look, I am not a Modi Bhakt but I am telling you what I have observed. Otherwise, people will think I am trying to convince them at the behest of Modi. This is how I will have to bring it to the minds of people by telling them again and again),” he says. Yes, you got it right. You have to do it in a subtle, indirect way.

As our negotiations move on, we tell the comedian that there would be an eight-month contract for the job which he shall disclose to none. In other words, you will be working for a secret agenda. Swearing to secrecy, Pawar reveals, “Arre nahi nahi bilkul nahi maine bola na main toh Modi Bhakt hoon (Oh no, not at all. I told you I am a Modi Bhakt).” As he is going to be doing paid tweets for the first time in his life, the comedian does not have any idea how much he should charge for his services. So, telling him that he will have to promote five contents a month, we fix Rs. 5 lakh per month and tell him he would be paid Rs. 40 lakh for the entire contract period of eight months. He will be paid his fee in advance every month. When we ask him if he has any questions with regard to his fee, he assures us in these words, “Nahi nahi dekho main kya bolta hoon main khud Modi Bhakt hoon toh aisa kuch bargaining main boloon itna utna chahiye paisa mil raha hai correct (No, no. What I am telling you is I am a Modi Bhakt. So there is no point in bargaining that I should be paid this much. Whatever you are paying me is correct. That is all).”

Some days after we had canned him, the comedian made some tweets. In one tweet he poked fun at Akhilesh Yadav when a controversy arose after he had vacated his official residence in Lucknow. “Modi ji ka sabse bada bhakt Akhilesh Yadav hai. Swach Bharat abhiyan ko safal banaane mein poora bangla saaf kar diya (Modiji’s most ardent devotee is Akhilesh Yadav. In order to make the Swach Bharat campaign a success, he swept the entire banglow clean),” says one tweet made in Hindi. The other tweet praises Modi while referring to FitIndia campaign.

We had e-mailed a questionnaire to all these celebs to know what they would like to say on what we have revealed in our story. Click here to read the answers.

Reply of Bollywood Celebrities 

If you like the story and if you wish more such stories, support our effort Make a donation.


If you believe investigative journalism is essential to making democracy functional and accountable support us. »