Media in the besieged Valley of Kashmir is going gaga over a ‘Facebook post’ shared by the poster boy of Indian bureaucracy in Kashmir Shah Faesal. The way Kashmir press is giving it hype is both surprising as well as saddening.
The Facebook post in itself isn’t something that deserves to be lauded or appreciated at all. The person in question recently called his joining of bureaucracy as an act of resistance and also mocked every other facet of Kashmir resistance. He even went on to proclaim in a passive aggressive way that: It is the bureaucrats that will run the show, until Aazadi comes [Paraphrased]. He even accused people, who criticise his and his cohort’s career choice, of scuttling the efforts of ‘constructive engagement’ between the State and the Kashmir populace. So, any statement that comes from such a person should always be taken with a lot of salt and pepper.
Coming to his ‘well-timed’ Facebook rant, Mr. Faesal has reportedly threatened to quit the bureaucracy because he is ‘deeply disturbed’ for being compared with Commander Burhan Wani. Yes, such a comparison is absurd and mildly amusing, but, hey haven’t you been basking in the limelight of being called the role-model Kashmir youth must ape? Why the sudden discomfort in owning the persona that the Indian media, that you are calling ‘sadistic’ now, constructed around you?
What’s worth noting in the rant is that Mr. Faesal isn’t outraged or considering resigning because of the butchery that the Indian State has unleashed through its vassals in the Police and Bureaucracy since Commander Wani died fighting Indian force. Additionally, by blaming a section of Indian media that has of late become the unofficial mouthpiece of the right-wing politics in India, Mr. Faesal has conveniently shifted all blame away from the Indian State and its clients that operate in Kashmir.
Perhaps, lessons from his immediate boss aptly dubbed as Birbal in Kashmir are bearing fruit. Mr. Faesal whimpers that the ‘red and blue’ studios are fanning more anger and alienation than what the Indian State can manage. Spoken like a true bureaucrat, ‘manage’ the anger; do nothing to resolve it and everyone in Kashmir knows what the ‘management’ of anger looks like; hint- look at the past week, that’s how anger is ‘managed’ in Kashmir.
Additionally, by blaming a section of Indian media that has of late become the unofficial mouthpiece of the right-wing politics in India, Mr. Faesal has conveniently shifted all blame away from the Indian State and its clients that operate in Kashmir.
To answer your question: “Have I joined IAS to do a job or to become a part of your sadistic propaganda machine?” The answer is pretty axiomatic, but since you’re asking for an answer, I’d like to point out that you became the part of Indian State’s ‘sadistic propaganda machine’ way back in 2010 when 120 kids were murdered in cold-blood, you tacitly approved it by maintaining a silence every time Kashmiris were prodded by the Indian media to ape you and the icing on the cake was your ill-informed op-ed piece in an Indian newspaper, in which you lashed out at your more intellectually capable critics with vitriol, condescension, and vengefulness. And yes, right now the job assigned to you is ‘scratching the desk’, so don’t complain.
If you’re really ‘hurt’ and if there is any sincerity in your threat to ‘resign’, I dare you to go ahead and quit. And then perhaps, utilize whatever rudimentary doctor’s training is left within you to save Kashmiri lives that have been put on the brink of extinction by the Indian State. Kashmir would love to have its Dr. Shah Faesal back, it needs more Dr. Faesals and can frankly do without Shah Faesal I.A.S.
(The writer prefers anonymity. If you wish to contribute for KashmirDispatch, send your writings to email@example.com)