Inside Kashmir’s Comedy Circus Where Cringe Content Is New Fame

Fayaz Rather aka Scorpio

Driven by their social media stunts and antics, some people calling themselves as public representatives are churning cringe-content in the name of comedy in Kashmir these days.

IT took countless laughs and a flurry of videos for Fayaz Rather aka Fayaz Scorpio’s father to break his silence: “Please leave my son alone, he’s mentally confused.

But despite this poignant public-appeal, Fayaz’s cringe-content remains a dark-and-dank humour in Kashmir’s virtual space.

Lately, when Fayaz showed up in Tulip Garden, his social media image became his real life ordeal.

Surrounded by the jeering public for Selfies and scorns, the simpleton was seen struggling to maintain his normal stance.

“The pseudo celebrityhood created by social media is only compelling these people to add insult to their injuries,” says Shakir Bashir, a tech-savvy teacher from Budgam.

“They willy-nilly become the part of Kashmir’s cringe comedy circus where clowns are multiplying with each passing day.”

The comic character, Fayaz Scorpio, suddenly surfaced online during the pandemic when he started introducing himself as a “deputy sarpanch” of Rafiabad.

His virtual rise was also catalyzed by his uncanny demand of Scorpio vehicle.

“His awkward mannerism and slurry speech instantly became the living room laughter in Kashmir,” says Darakhshan Shah, a Sociology scholar currently researching on the new social trends and their impact on the society.

“While these clowns calling themselves as politicians have become a telling comment on us as a society, it also highlights our choice of content consumption today.”

Like the scholar, the commoners today express anguish over the social media comedy having no precedence in politics as well as satire of Kashmir.

“Despite being nonsensical in letter and spirit, you still feel compelled to watch these clowns perform,” says Imran Shah, a young entrepreneur from Srinagar. “Among other things, their naïve political posturing is sidesplitting.”

However, unaffected by the growing flak, Fayaz continues to amuse people with his uncanny style. He even dismisses his virtual followers as some political agents tasked to hound him.

In the same vein, he bashes the unionist camp for “everything wrong” in Kashmir.

“When there’s a gap and silence in the mainstream political arena, then such people naturally crop up in the political field,” opines Mushtaq Sidiq, a political analyst.

“Kashmir may not be new to these clowns, but post 2019, their tribe is only growing.”

Two Kashmiri boys watching comedy on their cellphone.

Fayaz Scorpio’s contemporary, Mohammed Shafi aka Babbar-Sher, is another example of what the amalgam of uncanny satire and delusional politics looks like.

Donning pantsuits, Shafi’s satirical statements are probably everywhere on the internet—on Facebook reels, in Whatsapp forwarded videos, atop Instagram stories and inside the quick world of Twitter.

More than his decadal affiliation with Congress, it’s his roaring avatar that has now become Shafi’s new identity.

“His spontaneous sit-in protests, loud-mouthing and political stunts remind one of Er. Rasheed who wooed masses with his hothead politics,” says a senior scribe.

“But unlike the erstwhile Langate lawmaker currently languishing in Tihar Jail, the current class of clowns lack tactic and treatment. They thrive on the cringe content.”

Shafi’s pro-people outbursts have also become a ‘pain in the neck’ for the established camp.

“While Kashmir’s public representatives have been silenced, these clowns are freely boasting about their buffoon politics,” says a senior Peoples Democratic Party leader.

“This is a big tragedy of our times!”

Mohammad Shafi aka Babbar Sher

Apart from the ‘twin paradox’ seen on the Kashmir’s virtual space, social media is getting diversified with a motely group of characters creating a new place of amusement in the valley.

“One can’t always blame people for these comical characters,” says Zubair Khan, a banker.

“Since Kashmiri social media users don’t have much choice, so they consume this cringe content to divert their mind from the distressing situation.”

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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