Shah Faesal

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Shah Faesal
Deputy Commissioner (Bandipora)
Director School Education (Kashmir)
Assistant Commissioner (Pulwama)
Personal details
Born (1983-05-17) 17 May 1983 (age 35)
Sogam, Lolab Valley, Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir
NationalityIndian(Jammu and Kashmir)
Political partyJammu and Kashmir People's Movement
ParentsGhulam Rasool Shah
Mubeena Varrier
ResidenceJammu and Kashmir
Alma mater
ProfessionPolitician, social activist, doctor, bureaucrat
Websitejkpeoplesmovement.org

Dr. Shah Faesal (born 17 May 1983) is an independent politician and former Indian bureaucrat from Jammu and Kashmir. In 2009, he became the first Kashmiri to place first in the Indian Civil Services Examination.[1][2][3] He resigned from the Indian bureaucracy in protest on 9 January 2019, citing "unabated killings" in Kashmir among other things.[4][5] On 4 February 2019, Shah Faesal began his political life by giving a public speech in his hometown of Kupwara.[6][7] Shortly after on 16 March 2019 he announced that he would be launching his own political party, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM).[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Shah Faesal was born in the Sogam area of Lolab Valley, a district in Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. His father, Ghulam Rasool Shah, was a teacher who was killed by militants in 2002.[9][10][11] Shah Faesal was 19 at the time.[1] Not only was his father a teacher, but his mother, Mubeena Varrier, as well as grandfather were teachers.[3]

He is a 2008 batch graduate of the Jhelum Valley Medical College.[12] He holds an MBBS degree from Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar as well as has a master's degree in Urdu.[13][14] He finished MBBS at 26 and left IAS at 35. In 2018, he was a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School.[15]

Career[edit]

In 2009, he became the first Kashmiri to place first in the UPSC civil services exam, which he also cleared on his first attempt. He was also the first candidate from Kashmir in several years to be selected to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) through open merit.[1] He was the fourth Muslim (after Independence) to top the civil service exam.[16] During his career as a civil servant, Shah Faesal served in postings such as deputy commissioner (Bandipora), assistant commissioner (Pulwama) and director school education, Kashmir.[17] He resigned from IAS on 9 January 2019 citing "unabated killings" in Kashmir among other things, announcing the resignation through a Facebook post.[4] He was also generally disillusioned with his role as a bureaucrat, which included jailing people and imposing curfews.[3] At the time of resignation, he was a Fulbright fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and as an IAS officer was the managing director of the State Power Development Corporation in Jammu and Kashmir.[4][5]

On 4 February 2019, Shah Faesal began his political life by giving a public speech in his hometown of Kupwara.[6][7] During this speech he compared his experience in the IAS with feeling like having "spent the last 10 years in a jail."[18] On 25 February 2019, he announced during a live debate on NDTV that he is launching his own political party and has already applied to the Election Commission regarding this.[19] On 16 March 2019 he announced through Facebook that he would be launching his own political party on 17 March, the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples' Movement (JKPM), at a football ground in Rajbagh area, Srinagar.[20]

Controversies[edit]

Shah Faesal wrote bold social media posts even as a bureaucrat.[21] In July 2018, when he was a civil servant, he had posted a tweet, writing:

"Population +patriarchy +illiteracy +alcohol +porn +technology +anarchy = rapistan".[22]

People had said his tweet was in relation to India, but he had later clarified it was not.[23] However disciplinary action was taken by the Jammu and Kashmir government as well as the central government's Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and the inquiry is still going on.[4][5]

During the 2016 Kashmir unrest, Shah Faesal had urged the national media not to use his pictures for drawing a comparison with Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri militant and commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. During this episode he had threatened to resign through a Facebook post if such primetime propaganda did not stop.[24][25] In 2019, Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a poster warning people about Shah Faesal.[26]

In February 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs withdrew the security cover of 155 people in Jammu and Kashmir, and this included Shah Faesal, who had until then had been provided security as a bureaucrat.[27][28]

Views[edit]

Apart from the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, Shah Faesal has also named Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a role model.[29][30] Mani Shankar Aiyar, another Indian bureaucrat turned politician who went on to become a Union Minister, wrote an article on Shah Faesal called "Kashmir's Arvind Kejriwal". (Arvind Kejriwal is also a bureaucrat turned politician.)[3]

On 3 March 2019, Shah Faesal recommended the Nobel Peace Prize for Imran Khan for "saving South Asia from a nuclear catastrophe."[31]

Shah Faesal, during a talk in New Delhi in February 2019 at the India International Center, said that Kashmir is like a "High Altitude Graveyard".[32] He has suggested ways forward including "humanising the discourse" and advising people not to see the Kashmir issue as a mere "law and order problem".[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sarkar, Urvashi (7 May 2010). "Shah Faesal is first Kashmiri to top civil services exam". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  2. ^ Sharma, Suruchi (14 February 2011). "They find me glamourous: Shah Faesal". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Aiyar, Mani Shankar (23 February 2019). "Kashmir's Arvind Kejriwal". The Week. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "IAS officer Shah Faesal resigns from services to 'protest killings' in Kashmir". The Times of India. 9 January 2019. Archived from the original on 12 January 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Ashiq, Peerzada (19 January 2019). "Who is Shah Faesal?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Shah Faesal begins political journey". The Tribune. Tribune News Service. 5 February 2019. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b Gangai, Naseer (4 February 2019). "Kashmir Is A Political Issue, Can Be Resolved Through Dialogue: Shah Faesal In His First Public Rally". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Shah Faesal to announce party's name this week". The Tribune. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Kashmir's new all-India elite". The Hindu. 2 June 2012. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Shah Faisal's feat draws accolades from PM Manmohan Singh". Daily News and Analysis. Press Trust of India. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ "Waited for bombs to crash through our roofs: Shah Faesal's heartbreaking account of Kashmir panic". India Today. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Shah Faisal: UPSC Civil Services Exam 2010 Topper". UPSC Topper. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Supremo". Supremo. 17 May 1983. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  14. ^ "IAS officer Shah Faesal resigns from services to 'protest killings' in Kashmir". The Times of India.
  15. ^ "Fulbright Scholars Prepare to Depart for the U.S." U.S. Embassy & Consulates in India. 24 May 2018. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Interview with Shah Faisal, UPSC Topper 2010". iUPSC.com. Ritika Chopra, HT. Retrieved 6 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ Maqbool, Umer (10 January 2019). "IAS topper Shah Faesal resigns, vows to resist 'divisive politics'". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  18. ^ Ehsan, Mir (5 February 2019). "Spent the last 10 years in a jail, says ex-IAS officer Shah Faesal about his tenure". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Ex-IAS Officer Shah Faesal Announces He's Forming a New Party". The Quint. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  20. ^ Ashiq, Peerzada (16 March 2019). "Former IAS officer Shah Faesal to launch political party". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  21. ^ Iqbal, Naveed (12 February 2019). "Jammu and Kashmir: With selfies, call for 'change', Shah Faesal takes first steps". The Indian Express. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  22. ^ "J&K Govt Initiates Disciplinary Action Against 2010". Outlook India. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  23. ^ Raina, Muzaffar (10 January 2019). "IAS officer Shah Faesal quits, citing intolerance". The Telegraph. Kolkota. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Spare Me: Kashmir IAS Topper Shah Faesal Threatens To Resign". IANS. NDTV. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  25. ^ "Don't compare me with Burhan Wani: Kashmiri IAS officer to media". Deccan Chronicle. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Hizbul Mujahideen cautions people about Shah Faesal". Daily News and Analysis (DNA). 30 January 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Govt Withdraws Security To 18 Separatist Leaders, 155 Politicians Including Shah Faesal in J&K". Outlook India. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Shah Faesal's security clearance withdrawn by J&K administration". Daily News and Analysis (DNA). PTI. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  29. ^ "I'm deeply inspired by Imran Khan: Shah Faesal". The Times of India. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  30. ^ "Imran Khan, Kejriwal inspired me to join politics, says Shah Faesal". India Today. Press Trust of India. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  31. ^ "Ex-IAS officer Shah Faesal recommends Nobel Peace Prize for Imran Khan, draws flak". The New Indian Express. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  32. ^ "Kashmir is More Like High Altitude Graveyard, Says Shah Faesal After Pulwama Terror Strike Claims 40". News18. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  33. ^ Singh, Ravi S (15 February 2019). "Trust deficit among Kashmiri youth towards Indian state: Shah Faesal". The Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2019.

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