Reviewed: Bantaism....the philosophy of sardar jokes

When I first got my hands on this book I was intrigued by the title-who names a book Bantaism?? The author’s name as well stood out for it’s uniqueness-Bhai Niranjan Singh ‘Amrikawale’ (from America). And then I read the author’s note. I always like to read that before beginning any novel for it gives me an insight into the writer’s mind & helps me enjoy the book better. Trust me Bantaism is one book that everyone should try!

Every one of us Indians has either read, heard, or cracked a joke on the famous Santa-Banta pair. Why, I’ve even come across an entire booklet filled with these Sardar jokes, as we call them. The very mention of ‘Sardar’ brings up an image of a jolly good fellow with a happy-go-lucky persona, indulging in very silly yet innocent behaviour bound to make its way into a joke book. But Bantaism is no ordinary collection of jokes. What you get here is a very unique insight into the underlying meaning & ‘moral’ of the joke. Yes, you read that right, the author has not only taken the pains of collecting a wide range of Sardar jokes, but he’s also added a well meaning note at the end of each one! You get to see the short anecdote in a whole new light & actually appreciate the wisdom of the Sardars!

The Sardars are one group of people who don’t mind laughing at themselves…& you get to see why. With all our sophistication & pretentions, we end up being hypocrites, trying to be smart & up one another. Take a look at these jokes & their inner implications and you’ll grow to love the naivety and  purity of life. Everything is so simple, why complicate life? I haven’t finished reading the book yet & neither am I in a hurry to do so. As the author suggests, take the book one page at a time. Every time I feel a bit down or need to refresh my mind, I grab this book & read a joke not just for the humour but also for the lesson that comes with it.

Bantaism may not make to the top literature-wise yet it’s a book you will want to read & re-read. And the best thing is you don’t need to bookmark any page! Flip the pages & feast on a grand Sardar saga any day any time! Plus people who claim reading isn’t their cuppa tea can also enjoy the 150 pages of fun. A god buy for the price, I’d give it 3.5/5.
Bantaism-the philosophy of sardar jokes
Bantaism-the philosophy of sardar jokes

The book can be bought from & also


Haddock said…
We get many forwarded jokes (some really silly) but somehow every joke I read about Santa & Banta has put a smile on my face. Some how they are original.
Anonymous said…
Actually these jokes are not innocent. Over time hopefully people will develop the sense to be embarrassed if the people around them tell these kinds of jokes. They are bigoted statements about a community that does not appreciate being labeled fools. So, whatever that one or two people with low self esteem tell you, not too many thinking people in the Sikh community enjoy being the punchline of a national joke.

Put yourself in the US or UK and imagine how you would feel if the national joke punch-line included your community. Not so funny right? Sometimes I wonder if people in India understand basic empathy.

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