Stick to kissing cobras Waqar Zaka!
On April 1, 2013, I logged on to The Express Tribune website and was taken by surprise by this little headline in the right corner that read: ‘Waqar Zaka to go from cobra to constituency.’
Though I am not one of Mr Zaka’s fans, I went on to give it a read. The constituency bit smelled fishy considering the 2013 elections are just round the corner.
There I had it: Waqar Zaka plans to contest the elections!
Initially, like many others, I thought he tried to pull off an April fools prank (And I secretly still hope so). However, considering that the news was published at a reputable newspaper, I was forced to assume that he does in fact intend to join Meera and Musarrat Shaheen’s league – the celebrities who intend to contest the elections.
Honestly speaking, there is nothing wrong with that. In a democratic setup he has as much right to contest the elections as anyone else.
That aside, the story about his election plans has so much that is wrong with it, that I have been compelled to write a response.
As I proceed to decimate his statements, I would like to apologise in advance to his fans before the hate mails start pouring in.
For those who don’t know, Mr Zaka is a VJ/host and his claim to fame is a “dare show”.
He is also famous as Mr Daredevil for the ‘daring’ stunts he has pulled off such as kissing cobra snakes. So our Mr Daredevil here has decided to be daring enough to contest the elections. This is what he had to say:
“My fan following is diverse — from Nazimabad’s gutka-chewing audiences to Grammar School girls. I am assessing how much my fans love me,”
“…. If my show’s ratings are soaring high, then they should translate in a strong voters’ turnout for me.”
Apparently he wants to test his fan following by running in the elections. I do not, however, know how he expects his audience, of school and college going kids — mainly under 18 years of age — to be eligible to cast a vote.
Putting that fact aside, as a prospective voter, I would like to ask him some questions based on his statement:
1. Does he mean people living in Nazimabad are gutka chewers? Or, does he mean that his audience from Nazimabad are gutka chewers?
With that statement he should forget about any political support he can get from people living in Nazimabad – except for the gutka-chewers may be.
2. Why Grammar School? And why girls only? Are boys and non-Grammarian girls excluded from his fan-following? Are non-Grammarian girls any inferior?
By the way I am a girl, I am not a Grammarian and I am offended.
Moving on, Mr Zaka expressed his intent to contest elections from NA-253 but claimed that while he is open to any party who gives him a ticket, none of the parties except MQM were welcoming towards him. He also alleged that ANP was discriminatory against him because of his long hair. I feel sorry for him regarding the long hair bit (no pun intended).
That aside, NA-253 is a major MQM stronghold and Haider Abbas Rizvi is the primary contestant from that constituency. As such, I do not understand why MQM would consider giving Mr Zaka a ticket on that seat.
The most important and intriguing highlight of the story is Mr Zaka’s manifesto. He claims that his manifesto addresses people’s needs. Here’s what he is offering:
“Education weducation bakwas baatein hain. Perhne likhne se insan lethal banjata hai”
(Education is all non-sense. It makes one lethal)
“My basic idea is to open the doors of entertainment for the masses.”
Apparently, he means all the target killers, kidnappers, insurgents and ‘namaloom afraad’ in the country must have highly qualified academic backgrounds, considering the extent of their ‘lethalness’. As for the entertainment part, many of our politicians are already offering that.
Mr Zaka further believes that the provision of free Wi-Fi and gaming zones is more important than electricity and water.
“Bijli and paani come way after that — people want tafreeh (fun) first.”
This one line statement gives rise to many questions.
a) If free Wi-Fi comes before electricity, then how will the Wi-Fi device operate?
b) Will there be an alternate energy source to run the Wi-Fi devices (something like Agha Waqar’s water kit, may be)? Or, will free generators/UPS be provided to facilitate smooth internet access without disruption.
c) Most of the ‘ghareeb awaam’ might not be able to afford PCs and laptops. Since a Wi-Fi device is incomplete without a PC, laptop or a smartphone, will that be provided for free as well? Also the not-so-educated masses will need free training in order to be able to access the internet.
Lastly, I have a million dollar question to ask Mr Waqar Zaka on a personal note.
If education is not on your list, and you want to provide free Wi-Fi solely for the sake of entertainment, what kind of entertainment do you want people to have from the internet and how, if at all, do you see the country prospering under your authority?
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.