DDC Polling Videos as Theatre of Absurd

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ONE of the greatest American comedians, Groucho Marx once said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” It holds rather true in the context of Jammu and Kashmir where DDC elections are currently being held as the latest episode of an unending political drama. The problem of J&K has been diagnosed as that of development hampered by local political parties that have traditionally enjoyed power in the erstwhile state. Hence, in order to give an impression that some semblance of procedural democracy exists in J&K, all the political stake holders have tried their best to field candidates that could bring glory to their dugouts. However, the recent barrage of videos that have surfaced on the social media are telling a different, more comical story of these candidates.

In one of the videos, an election candidate was asked what DDC stood for and in a state that could either be described as panic or over-enthusiasm, he stuttered and stammered his way to saying that DDC meant, “Sab ka vikas sab ka vishwas“. In similar videos, other candidates were also seen struggling to answer what the full form was. The voting population also chipped in with their verbal contribution to the great election drama. An old lady, probably in her 70s, was asked what motivated her to cast a vote to which she replied, “For freedom”. Freedom from what? A question that remained untouched.

However, the one interview which took the cake was of a man outside a polling station who was asked whether the candidates were going to work for the welfare of the common people. He promptly replied in a serious and yet an amusing tone, “yim karan ne kiheen lastas (They aren’t going to do anything in the end)”. When asked why he had casted his vote then, he answered that he hadn’t and that he was on his way to his home.

The baffled look on the journalist’s face summed up the entire conversation and was emblematic of the absurdity surrounding these elections as well.

It will be futile to ask whether the diagnosis of the problem of J&K was accurate or not because that ship appears to have sailed already. But in all of the jabberwocky surrounding politics in Kashmir, “Yim karan ne kiheen lastas” appears to be a statement of unadulterated genius at the moment.

Shakir Shafiq Qadri

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