Is Dr Shah Faesal Still Relevant

Sofi Rafiq

It was the chilling days and nights of winter especially chilli kalan of the year 2018 when there was a hot debate and discussion going on across Jammu and Kashmir about the Why and what for resigning from the lucrative job by Dr. Shah Faesal and people were anxiously waiting for what next. Dr Faesal’s journey from an orphan of a remote village of district kupwara to an IAS officer that too by creating a history of being first Kashmiri who topped the 2010 UPSC exams is full of ups and downs and much of surprises also. He surprised one and all especially the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by tendering his resignation from a government services by citing the reasons: To protest “against unabated killings in Kashmir” and lack of sincere reach out from the union government. To be sincere when he topped IAS in the year 2010 kashmiri youth were going through a difficult phase but he became youth Icon by setting a trend and became a source of inspiration and motivation for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to try their luck and prove their mettle in such exams the results are quite encouraging as since then many youth from the state qualified such competitive exams with flying colors. But this youth Icon surprised one and all when he announced to serve people of the then state as a politician instead of being administrator. To quote prof. Saif Din Soz, “He will prove to be an asset whichever the party he will join” There were rumours going on with regard to which party he will join but he closed the doors for all such rumours when he launched his own political party named as Jammu and Kashmir peoples Movement on March 16th, 2019 at a public gathering organised at “Gindun Ground” in Rajbagh area of the Srinagr city thus clearing the air that he has made up his mind to join main stream politics. This had left many tongue-tied. He was joined by many likeminded people and the well qualified youth all over Jammu and Kashmir. The newly floated party also released its vision document in which it was clearly mentioned that “ The party will attempt to bring about sustainable peace in the State by making the people politically empowered, economically prosperous, socially emancipated, ethically evolved, culturally enlightened and environmentally conscious”. There was a feeling that a new political platform is emerging which seemed to work on the analogy of Aam Admi Party of Kejiriwal and will say goodbye to the family politics in Kashmir. His resignation and joining politics gave rise to many questions which are still relevant and need answers. The important being what forced him to resign and what motivated him to prefer politics over administration which does not seem a fair play as for as political scenario of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned. These questions need to be deliberated upon and sincere answers.
Political activities are almost absent, many political leaders still languishing in Jails. In this whole changed political scenario of Jammu and Kashmir there is a big question is Dr Shah Faesal and like minded people and their political ideology to address issues pertaining to common masses still relevant.
Firstly, we all accept this reality that we are living in a zone where security of job and income remains the chief concern of every educated youth that is why we witness a person leaves no stone unturned and even sacrifice his everything to get a government job even at meagre salary. Resigning from a lucrative job carrying both name and fame needs high amount of courage which is truly shown by Dr. Faesal but on the other hand it raises figures towards the system which failed to retain an officer of such calibre. It is a failure of the system to address the aspirations of this officer and in anger he resigned which clearly indicates that there are some severe flaws and lacunas in our system that needs to be overhauled well in time. Secondly, Dr. Faesal took such a fearless decision at a time when he was well aware about the fact that joining mainstream politics that too in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is in no way going to be a rosey bed but is putting oneself into the hot water because after the year 2008 the role and credibility of mainstream politics is negligible especially in Kashmir. The public faith and support of Mainstream politicians has diminished to the lowest ebb still Faesal took a big risk requiring a big heart. As opined by common masses Dr. Faesal’s resigning from such a post was a very well calculated risk because he only knows what he is doing and why he is doing so. That time public was also having this gut feeling that it is the deep state of India which wants to restore main stream political activities in the valley by motivating and inspiring youth so that both assembly and parliament elections of the year 2019 could be conducted smoothly so to save the national image at international forums. This all need a role model and youth icon which will bridge the wide gap between youth of valley and Delhi and Dr. Faesal was their choice. Leaving this debate aside, The success and failure of Faesal’s decision is still a dilemma for political pundits as well as common masses and will become more clear in times to come but it is to worth remind respected Dr. Faesal the intentions with which he dived into the political arena of Jammu & Kashmir state some sons of soil long back under the banner of MUF (Muslim United Front) has experimented it and what they got is the history written in the form of 1987 rigged elections. Why to experiment again when it has failed long ago is a question which will be better answered by Dr. Faesal alone. Keeping an eye on the current political situation of the Jammu and Kashmir the whole scenario has changed after the abrogation of Article 370 on Aug, 05, 2019 special status of the state stands withdrawn. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is now divided into two union Territories viz Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Domicile rules are changed. Political activities are almost absent, many political leaders still languishing in Jails. In this whole changed political scenario of Jammu and Kashmir there is a big question is Dr Shah Faesal and like minded people and their political ideology to address issues pertaining to common masses still relevant.
(The author is freelancer and writes regularly for the opinion pages of “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own) [email protected]

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