The inevitable had to arrive as it could not be delayed further considering elections are round the corner and jumping into the band wagon of electoral politics seems to have been scripted by the role model Shah Feasal much before the date of putting down his papers today.
Shah Feasal, a doctor turned bureaucrat is the first Kashmiri to be ranked numero uno in Civil Services entrance exams in year 2009 and this feat celebrated across whole nation with the Prime Minister of India personally congratulating him over his achievement. Such was the love and regard for this gentleman that whole social media was abuzz with prime media houses making a bee line for his bytes.
Feasal soon became a cult for the youth of Kashmir and with his able administration he started winning the hearts of people in his area of posting which incidentally happened to be North Kashmir, his native region. Shah Feasal emerged as a hope in despair and dark clouds hovering over Kashmir for three long decades. He started becoming the epitome of changed mindset and many young Kashmiris cherished the idea of joining civil services for larger good of society and people of Kashmir.
However, things took an ugly turn with his brazen and forthright tweet where he clubbed the nation with ‘Rapistan.’ He posted a tweet “Population +patriarchy +illiteracy +alcohol +porn +technology +anarchy = rapistan” and what was more appaling in his tweet that he wrapped in entire South Asia to utter embarrassment of the Central government. Faesal – a bureaucrat topping the civil services in a country of 130 million seemed to have conveniently forgotten that he was governed under rules of his service which demanded a proper conduct from him while delivering upon his duties. The All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 says, “No member of the Service shall, in any radio broadcast or communication over any public media or in any document:
Which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government; or
Which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Central Government and any State Government; or
Which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Central Government and the Government of any Foreign State
Thus Shah Feasal not only brought disrepute to his own country by such livid and defaming remarks but carried the potential of embarrassing the relations of Indian state with entire South Asian countries.
With the lot many cases coming into light in relation to corruption and misconduct among the government officials and the linking of various government officials with anti-social elements the Article 310( Doctrine of Pleasure) and 311 of the Indian Constitution envisaged in the Part XIV act as a check and does not allow the government officials to make mockery of LAW.
Can we attribute a motive in this conduct? Motive of larger gains in terms of fame and power considering a bureaucrat has limited power. Did the lust for more power overshadow the bureaucrat’s vision and Shah Feasal – the celebrated youth of Valley became self centered seeking higher and greener pastures in politics? We would say Yes!
Meanwhile as a general routine Centre asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to initiate departmental action against 2009 IAS topper Shah Faesal for his unbecoming and inappropriate tweet, and this would have provided an opportunity to this gentleman to explain his conduct and establish merit in his argument
What followed was another brazen deeds which establishes beyond doubt what has been said in the opening statement of this write up, “The inevitable had to arrive as it could not be delayed further……” Yes, the script of what happened today was scripted with the first tweet and topped up with his other shameful deed of posting the departmental enquiry letter on tweeter with a message, ” Love letter from my boss for my sarcastic tweet against rape-culture in South Asia. The Irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience. I’m sharing this to underscore the need for a rule change.”
Imagine a top ranking IAS officer purposedly ignoring and bypassing the procedures of any change as established in law takes on to social media with a fervent appeal “for rule change” as if he was not serving in a country governed by rule of law but a banana republic where rules are made and amended through social media. Even a clerk in a government office knows the procedure of escalating the grievances and follows the process, and here we have an IAS officer who in a presumptuous manner shames the entire country with barefaced remarks.
One factor which collaborated and gave a hint that Shah Faesal is joining politics was immediate intervention
of Ex Chief Minister of state Omar Abdullah who said, “Looks like DOPT is determined to chase @shahfaesal out of the civil services. The last line of this page is shocking & unacceptable where they question Faesal’s ‘integrity & honesty’. How is a sarcastic tweet dishonest? How does it make him corrupt?” Understand that Omar Abdullah conveniently ignored several other anti-establishment tweets by the officer to politicize the disciplinary action initiated against him by the government.
Unfortunately Shah Feasal knowingly ignored the cardinals of service conduct and posted something which casually falls well in the ambit of ‘Misconduct’ denting his image of being the role model for the masses and resting any scope of this gentleman becoming the beacon of light and hope to millions of youth living in tumult and agony. The script of the political ambitions seems to be so well written and orchestrated camouflaged with ideals of ‘freedom of expression and liberty as the natural right of human being’ Rights only and not the duties which are wedded to the rights. Unfortunate and tragic!
Now arrives the perfect time to lower the curtains of the drama with the arrival of elections. There couldn’t have been more opportune time to unravel the mystery and more perfectly worded statement than “To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach out from the union government, the marginalization and invisiblization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutava forces…….” A perfect election speech by a self proclaimed messiah of masses in Valley. Tweets made in July highlighting the social evils in mere six months changed to bursting cries of oppression and subjugation of Muslims of whole nation. How insincere and shameless of this gentleman who was the role model of masses!
Can we call this mere coincidence or a planned strategy that no sooner Shah Feasal’s resignation and outburst it was the same Omar Abdullah who reacted on the news of Faesal’s resignation by tweeting, “The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold.” He later clarified that he had simply welcomed him to the “fold of politics” and that it was Faesal’s decision to announce his future plans.
Thus leaving no ambiguity or doubt over the perfectly scripted entry into politics, with a finesse which leads even a seasoned politician scratching his head. Joining politics is not taboo, but deceiving people who had made Shah Feasal a role model for youth is; aspiring for power to do good is always welcome, but shaming the country and shrouding the real intent amounts to unethical behavior. The larger irony lies in his desire to train the youth of valley for civil services when he himself has no faith in the system of civil services as a means to impact change.
Shah Feasal has also received an open invitation from Umer Farooq and incidently through the same social media platform through which he preferred to ‘change rules.’ Umer Farooq said, “Hope his (Shah Faesal) outrage over killings and his sentiment that the lives of Kashmiris matter guides his choice of politics and gets reflected in representing his peoples collective deep driving desire of right to self determination….”
Thus a fair understanding leads us to an analysis that the actions of this doctor turned bureaucrat and an aspiring politician or may be a separatist leader are not only unethical and arbitrary but fail the scrutiny of law governing his official conduct as a famed bureaucrat.