Shah Faesal’s political mishap
The former IAS officer Shah Faesal has hit the wall in the very first step of his journey to the world of politics. And what complicates things for him more is that the wall is too high. Not that it can’t be escaladed, there would now be need for a ladder or someone else’s shoulders to scale it over.
Road to politics in Kashmir, especially when it is for power, is quite scenic and straight. But Shah took the detours and cuts to reach the highway, and stumbled.
Shah Faesal was caught in his own words.
He took a moral position (unabated killings) to resign from the service and said he could not see his people dying so savagely. “I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter,” Faesal wrote.
Initially, it sounded the “voice of conscience”.
But as it became known that he is pursuing a political career, questions were raised. Joining the same brand of politics and the same brigade of politicians held responsible for the “unabated killings” Shah Faesal reasoned of made his intentions suspect. “Voice of conscience” was deemed as the “voice of self-projection ”.
Former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah was first to react to Shah’s resignation. The way Omar Abdullah commented on Shah’s decisions, it looked that he was already privy to it and also knew about Shah’s future plans.
Omar Abdullah tweeted “bureaucracy’s loss is gain of politics” and welcomed the Shah to the ‘fold’.
This lifted the lid on the real motivation behind Shah’s resignation.
Politics is not a forbidden domain. Anybody is free to go in for the career of his or her choice.
Using peoples’ sufferings as a flight to get on to the top of the political horizon is a permanent template in Kashmir politics. People try it with extra degree of brazenness.
The trend set by Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah is practiced in each circuit of Kashmir politics.
Since the rise of militancy in early 90s, the exploitation of peoples’ sentiment by mainstream politicians was taken to new heights by promising moon to them. Mahbooba Mufti is the chief architect of this new template.
Shah Faesal tried to go by the same template.
Reports of Shah joining politics had been there for several months before his resignation. Social media, mainly, was thick with rumours or reports of Shah Faesal joining National Conference to be party’s parliamentary candidate for north Kashmir seat in the upcoming LS elections.
He complicated things for himself by connecting morality to his change of profession.
He was virtually hauled on coals by social media activists for using peoples’ sufferings as a ladder to rise to political fame.
The end result is that he is now finding himself in the middle of lonely and scary backwoods with no pathway to move around.
It was perhaps to get out of this scare-land that made him to seek suggestions from the youth of Kashmir as what he should do now.
This also proved yet one more folly for him.
Most of his ‘fans’ suggested him not to join National Conference or any other mainstream party.
He is not in a position to launch his own party as well. If at all, he launches his own party that is bound to end up in failure, given the atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust in Kashmir.
Shah Faesal was projected as icon of Kashmiri youth when he topped the IAS in 2010. Many young minds were inspired by him and in the process got to the prestigious All India Civil Services.
Those who think that Shah Faesal could prove an icon in politics as well would find themselves on the wrong side of the spectrum once he takes a formal plunge.
Politicians are the most tried and tested class in Kashmir. People know it for the fact that the mainstream politicians are mere agents. They cannot go beyond the red line set by their masters.
That Shah Faesal would not be different can be understood from the fact that he has become a ‘suspect’ even before formally announcing his political plans.
He has sought six months from the people to prove himself. The way events overtake each other in Kashmir, Shah Faesal would be a forgotten case by then.
Rightly Kashmir is graveyard of all reputations.