Anupam BhagriaPosted: Jun 21, 2010 at 0423 hrs IST
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mann said: "Recently, I visited some villages in the Fazilka belt and found that every house has a handicapped child. One of the major reasons behind this is the polluted waters of Satluj. Industries in towns like Fazilka, Abohar and Muktsar, among others, are polluting the river. The villagers told me about their problems and I will soon sit on a dharna in front of these industrial units."
Asked if it will make an impact, Mann said: "I hope it will because when a celebrity and that too a satirical comedian like me joins a social cause, it helps in raising the people's voice. I am very confident that some solution will be reached."
"My job as a comedian is not only to entertain people but also to speak for their problems. I read 12 newspapers daily to keep myself updated with the current problems facing people, the country and the society in general. I begin reading a newspaper with the editorial, with columns written by Kuldeep Nayyar, Khushwant Singh, etc — very much required for a good social critic."
Mann was in the city to participate in a seminar on his newly-released album "Aawaj", organised by Baba Bulleshah Foundation under the chairmanship of Gurcharan Singh and coordinator Nirmal Jaura.
"Being a social activist, I want some kind of a social opposition, so that political parties and leaders are under pressure to perform better. It has become a practice that majority of the leaders do not do anything initially and at the last moment, they start taking up development and other works to make their votebank strong."
Mann, who started his career while in school, said: "I started to mimic my teachers, friends and people around me in my school days. In college, I won many awards in youth festivals and inter-college competitions. It was then that I decided to polish my inborn talent and won two gold medals from Punjab University Patiala for Sunam College."
Working for the people and with the people, this comedian-turned-social activist has no plans to join politics in the future