Let Shah Faesal decide what’s good for him. Kashmir is the most suitable laboratory for every type of experiment. If results come good then it is the ruler’s blessings, if bad then it is the people’s fault.
It was in bureaucracy where Dr Faesal understood that no matter the rank, whether you are IAS or a lowly clerk, you have to obey your bosses. Boss is always right.
Maybe people have forgotten that once a sitting MLA warned a BDO: I will throw you out within days. The video of it went viral too. As the MLA had promised, within days the BDO was not only transferred but was attached to the director’s office and disciplinary action was initiated against him, too.
It is not a hidden fact that Shah Faesal had to report to even those who had neither qualified KAS nor IAS but on whom political patronage had bestowed uncountable blessings. A person who used to be the personal cook of a former CM some two decades ago, retired as Director in a particular department. There are many such examples where persons were promoted up to the rank of DCs although they were in no way eligible.
It was the harsh realities which tempted Faesal saab to think that it’s better to be a politician and control all bureaucrats than to be a puppet in the hands of politicians. It was, indeed, politics that turned Kashmir into what it is. Especially from the time of NC and Congress governments. People saw a ray of hope in the PDP but it ruined whatever was left of people’s hopes from the political system. The time was very much ripe for Dr Faesal to make an entry. The anger and hopelessness among people provided him the market to sell a new narrative, presenting himself as a youth icon and upright officer.
But the political turmoil after abrogation of Article 370 changed it all. The politicians who were habitual of insulting officers and bureaucrats now were helpless even before their own security guards. All of them were caged , even former CMs. The helplessness of the political class was visible everywhere, not to talk of the common masses.
The circumstances changed too fast, and upside down, beyond the imaginations of Dr Shah Faesal sahib. When Dr Faesal was in the bureaucracy, politicians were in control, and when Dr Faesal left the bureaucracy to become a politician, the same bureaucracy turned the tables and assumed control!
This must have taught Dr Faesal the great lesson that although the power of the bureaucracy may seem to be low as compared to that of politician, but it lasts till retirement and keeps increasing gradually, while in politics nothing is permanent.
Dr Faesal being an admirer of Nelson Mandela, let me narrate for him one episode. Nelson Mandela had remained almost 24 years behind bars when he become the president of South Africa. A hotel was booked where the president had to lunch along with his staff during an official visit. When the president’s staff assembled for lunch, suddenly Mandela noticed a person in the corner. He ordered his private secretary to go and ask the person to come sit for lunch with everyone. During the lunch, the hands of that man were trembling continuously. So, after lunch was over, the private secretary asked Mandela if he knew what was wrong with that person. Mandela said that the person was the security in-charge of the prison in which he had spent 7 years, and whenever Mandela used to cry for water, he used to come and pee on Mandela’s head!
Mandela, however, told his private secretary, “I have not become president to take revenge or to curse people for my sufferings.”
In Kashmir politics, one must be well aware that here, people are with all but actually are with none.