Mr. IAS, What Next?

Mr. IAS, What Next?
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Ishaq Begh

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 rendered him to be a reputable figure in Kashmir as well as in India. India tried to harvest a huge crop in Kashmir after Shah Faesal’s appointment was seen as something positive through the Indian prism. On a daily basis, it was being said that Kashmir has a potential to produce men like Shah and by positive media hype Faesal became a household name in Kashmir. He headed some vital departments in the 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 government where he openly exemplified his resistance or opposition.
After a few years of service, Faesal left Kashmir and joined a reputed university in USA (Harvard) for further studies. Back home in Kashmir, the situation was worsening day by day. Against this backdrop, Shah Faesal, recently wrote on the 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+ Illiteracy + Alcohol = Rapistan) after reacting to a news item, “Porn addict rapes a 46 year old mom in Guajrat. At this juncture, Faesal was issued a show cause notice by his bosses in New Delhi. Then again he went a step forward on the controversy of repealing the Article 35A of the Indian constitution; Faesal threatened the Indian state with his harsh words that repealing article 35A of the constitution would end Jammu and Kashmir’s relationship with rest of India.
Faesal compared this very article with a marriage deed (nikahnama). He even dared India that if this article gets repealed then the relationship would be over and there would remain nothing to be discussed further; despite having a special regard with the integrity and sovereignty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 posed 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 Faesal: he very often criticized the Indian government’s approach towards these incidents and beyond any doubt these intolerable happenings also changed the mindset of Mr. Topper regarding Indian politics.
It is a fact that time decides everything and has its own course, a couple of years ago Mr. Faesal argued with an open heart that Kashmiris had 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.
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 do not let them go with alleviation and betterment.
After witnessing a continuum of innocent killings Shah Faesal recently made 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. Leaving an affluent and esteemed service is not a good thing because it is a position which allows you to deliver the goodness to the needy masses but witnessing bloodshed with silence is simply the nature of callousness.
What if Shah Faesal joins pro India politics at this juncture? It is a fact that people who remain in power in Kashmir don’t lead the aspirations of the people and the converse holds true for those who do not. We have seen that after a good turnout in polls, India highlights that for its benefit. 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.
The question is: if little developments happening here can be done by the bureaucracy working under the governor installed by New Delhi then what is the fun of having a local elected government? Prior to polling, we have witnessed a trend that politicians sell the dreams of high value but once when they acquire power continues , the saga of flip flops continues. First, 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.
Conflicts and their militarization foster a politics that is at odds with the thrust and purpose of democracy. It calibrates pre defined boundaries for you and you have to be bound by the set norms but if you try to hop up then your wings are not your own.

—The author can be reached at: ishaqbeghkullar@gmail.com