It was the summer of 2010 and a new youth icon was born, a doctor from one of the remote village of central Kashmir's Kupwara district a doctor by profession had not only cracked the coveted civil services examination but had topped it.
Shah Faesal had become the household name in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as media had made a beeline at the Srinagar Airport when they came to know about his arrival from New Delhi. Wishes from all over were pouring in as people in large numbers wanted to have a glimpse of the man who had created a record of being the first resident from Jammu and Kashmir to top the UPSC list.
People started to see him as an icon who would transform the thinking of the youth of Kashmir valley and some people even termed that it was an end to the “alienation” that the youth of the trouble-torn valley was facing.
The then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh was among the first to have congratulated that “new youth icon” of Kashmir.
Shah Faesal supposedly started reaping the benefits of his close proximity with the senior leadership of the entire political spectrum in the state and hence allegedly was given the prime postings in the most important departments in the state.
The intentions of Shah Faesal came to fore when he wrote a post on one his social media profile soon after the killing of the dreaded Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, where he blamed the government for “killing and maiming its own citizens”.
Shah Faesal did not stop there, but after he went to the United States for a fellowship, his views became more radical and he was being criticized for being “Anti-national”.
In one of his post, he compared India to “Rapistan”. He wrote “Patriarchy + Population + Illiteracy +Alcohol +Porn +Technology + Anarchy = Rapistan”.
This post was the final nail in the coffin which invited an explanation from the Department of Personnel and Training.
The former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had stood to support Shah Faesal making it evident that Faesal was getting cosy with Abdullah's.
On various occasion Shah Faesal gave a signal that “ he might resign sooner or later” and the inevitable happened today when he resigned from the IAS and joined National Conference to contest the upcoming elections.
After his resignation, Shah Faesal posted on social media wherein he tried to become the messiah of over 200 million Indian Muslims by blaming the Union Government for their “marginalization and invisibilization”.
After resigning, he wrote on his Facebook account explaining his decision.
"To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government; the marginalization and invisibilization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens” Faesal wrote. He further went to say that “...the insidious attacks on the special identity of the J&K State and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism, I have decided to resign from Indian Administrative Service,” he wrote
He went to say, “I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and NIA has the potential to decimate the Constitutional edifice of this Country and it needs to be stopped. I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy.”
The youth across Kashmir valley have reacted with shock as they see this as a sad demise of the hopes they had from their "role model".
"What a fall from grace of the man whom we saw as a youth icon, we wanted to follow his footsteps to join the IAS, but this man ended up targeting the very same institution that made his what he is today. People know him as a Kashmiri who topped the IAS and not a man who targeted his own state" Irfan a resident of Srinagar city said.
The youth in Kashmir have lost an icon and have said that it is a "fall from grace" for the first IAS topper from J&K.
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