Till 2010 Shah Faesal was not a well known figure in Kashmir but after cracking the India’s top most civil service examination held under UPSC (IAS) that too with a top position gave him a good reputation in Kashmir as well as in India and sooner was considered as an inspiration for the youth. Indian politicians and other apparatus of the state used shah Faesal’s image to mainstream the Kashmiri youth who were busy in street fights with the police and other military forces in 2008, 2009 and 2010 over the human rights violations.
India tried to harvest a huge crop in Kashmir after Shah Faesal’s appointment was seen as a positive change through the Indian spectrum. On daily basis it was being said that Kashmir has a potential to produce men like Shah and by positive media hype Mr. Faesal became a household name in Kashmir. He headed some vital departments in Kashmir province including education and hydro power but being a topper in IAS was his achievement and a contrivance for India to highlight his character.
On various points he was made a scapegoat by the politicians of PDP-BJP coalition govt. where he openly exemplified his resistance or opposition. Despite the all odds he as an administrator was always acclaimed by the common masses of Kashmir where politicians merely invite a praise and trust. After some years of service he left Kashmir and joined a reputed university in USA (Harvard) for further studies.
Back home in Kashmir the situation was worsening day by day and innocent killings at the hands of uniformed men were a routine. Shah Faesal, recently wrote on a wall of a famous social media platform that Harvard changed his mind set vis-a-vis Kashmir issue. But it is not only Harvard university which helped Mr Faesal to understand the Kashmir issue, last year he took to social media where he openly called India a “Rapistan”, (Patriarchy + Population+ Illitracy + Alcohal = Rapistan) after reacting to a news item, “Porn addict rapes 46 year old mom in Gujrat. On this juncture he was issued a show cause notice by his bosses in the New Delhi. Then again he went a step forward on the controvercy of repealing the Article 35A of the Indian constitution; he threatened Indian state with his harsh words that repealing article 35A of the constitution would end Jammu and Kashmir’s relationship with rest of the country. He compared this very article with a marriage deed (nikahnama). Even he dared India that if this article gets repealed then the relationship is over and there will remain nothing to be discussed further, despite having a special regard with the integrity and sovereignty of Indian state Shah Faesal suggested Indian politicians that the JK’s special status must not be touched at all because it keeps no threat to the integrity and sovereignty of India. In 2017 the mob lynching episodes in India, where Hindu fanatics attacked Muslims to death could not silence Mr. Faesal, he very often criticized the Indian govt’s approach towards these incidents and beyond any doubt these intolerable happenings also changed the mindset of Mr. Topper regarding the Indian politics. On such basis he was even called as an anti national person but being a govt. servant he was made silent on regular basis.
It is a fact that time decides everything and it has its own course, a couple of years ago Mr. Faesal argued with open heart that Kashmiris have no choice but to go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong and at the same time advocated Indian supremacy. He even advised fellow Kashmiris not to hope against the might of the state. It is the nature of Kashmir conflict which has a potential of changing the mindset of people. Shah Faesal advocated India and tried to refurbish the decaying bridge between India and Kashmir by suggesting separatist camp to windup their business of false hope and macabre heroism and to find a dignified exit. Mr. Faesal is an intellectual and has a hold on conflict studies across the world, he must be well aware of the fact that conflicts involve the parties easily but not let them go with alleviation and betterment.
After witnessing a continuum of innocent killings Shah Faesal recently got a dignified exit from the post of India’s highest civil administrative service. He is now free to live his life with the highest percentage of dissent. Now he is not an advocate of any integration theory because all such theories have fallen apart. What he was earlier is not now; now India and Kashmir both have new images in his mind. Now saffronization, intolerance and rising hatred in India has planted new seeds in his character, he is now totally intolerable to the unabated killings in Kashmir at the hands of Indian forces. Conscience needs simply a drop of nectar to wake up and any time one can comprehend the whole scenario around him. Leaving an affluent and esteemed service is not a good job because it is a position which allows you to deliver the goodness to the needy masses but witnessing bloodshed with mum is simply the nature of callousness.
What if Mr. Shah Faesal joins the pro India politics at this juncture? It is a fact that people who remain in power in Kashmir doesn’t lead the aspirations of the people and who lead the aspirations are always out of power that too languishing in torture centers or jails. We have seen that after a good turnout in polls, India highlights that for its benefits and make that equivalent to the UN resolutions. People here vote and elect the local governments for their basic necessities (Road, Water and Electricity) as even claimed by the major political figures of the state. Question is, if little developments happening here can be done by the bureaucracy working under the governor installed by the center then what is the fun of having a local elected government. Prior to the polling we have witnessed a trend that politicians are selling the dreams of high value but once acquiring the power continues the detested legacy of betrayal. First the local politicians of Kashmir distance themselves from the Kashmir issue and seek pro people dimensions because they know advocating India directly during polls will hamper their victory. But after managing victory their tone of deliverance changes at once and they start following the directions of New Delhi whole heartedly. This goes in reverse as the peoples will gets a massive set back by their betrayal. Very recently when Mustafa Kamal of National Conference was lecturing against the New Delhi on TV shows his brother Dr. Farooq advised him to keep mum because bosses in Delhi weren’t happy with his anti India approach and they will create hindrances in his win from Pattan assembly segment. What does this signify? Can’t any one from pro-India political camp speak like that? Mehbooba also during her initial political carrier high jacked the peoples will and time proved her nature recently when she tied the knot with saffron brigade. Now International affairs have shown us that day to day governance shall not hostage the aspirations of common masses and it also revealed the facts that under heavy militarization no democracy can sprout because occupation by force will not allow you to show your dissent at any case. Militarization calibrates a pre defined boundaries for you and you have to be bound by the set norms if you try to hop up then your wings are not your own.
(Ishaq Begh is a Kashmir based political analyst. The views expressed by the author in this article are of his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this news paper)