IAS officer Shah Faesal, once a petitioner to challenge the abrogation of Article 370, has once again cleared his stance on Article 370
A Kashmir-based young IAS officer Shah Faesal is once again making headlines. Ahead of the scheduled hearing of a batch of pleas related to the abrogation of Article 370 before a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, Shah Faesal on Tuesday said the constitutional provision is a thing of the past and there is no going back.
“(Article) 370, for many Kashmiris like me, is a thing of the past. Jhelum and Ganga have merged in the great Indian Ocean for good. There is no going back. There is only marching forward,” Faesal wrote on Twitter.
Soon after the Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in August 2019, Faesal was detained at the IGI Airport in Delhi and was later sent back to the Valley. Thereafter, he was detained under the Public Safety Act, which was revoked in the first week of June 2020.
Faesal also filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2019, challenging the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370.
Earlier, Shah Faesal himself quit the government service in January 2019 to protest ‘unabated’ killings in Kashmir and the marginalization of Indian Muslims. For some time he also experimented in the field of politics and launched the Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement in March 2019.
He later stepped down from the post of the party president on 10th August 2020 claiming he was not in a position to “continue with political activities”.
Despite this, the Union government did not accept his resignation.
In April 2022, the government accepted Faesal’s application for withdrawing his resignation from service and reinstated him. He is currently serving in the Culture Ministry.
The same month, Faesal filed an application in the court seeking the deletion of his name from the list of seven petitioners who had challenged the scrapping of Article 370.
On Tuesday soon after Faesal posted his tweet a Srinagar-based senior journalist Ahmed Ali Fayyaz reacted strongly to his comments.
Fayyaz in a long note wrote, “In a land where all the mischief lies in silence, convenience and amphibianism’ and fear is the ultimate decider, total assimilation is not possible unless there are organic changes in the system until everyone perceives his/ her dignity and identity–religious, cultural et al–protected until you hear the same voice from all sides“.
“As of now, the slogan of “Shah Shah Shabir Shah” has only been forgotten, not replaced by “Shah Shah Faesal Shah” or “Shah Shah Amit Shah”. As of now, among the entire political and bureaucratic class, you are the only town tier of this ‘change‘. The last voice which used to contest Pakistan and separatism politically and militarily stands muted after 2002. So are almost all, with just a few exceptions, in the Police, civil administration, and bureaucracy. Unlike you, almost all are silent, doing duty on their pay scale for 6 hours and keeping themselves part of the ‘society’ for 18 hours; telling us ‘Azadi’ on the next day of their retirement”. In the end Fayyaz posed a question asking Shah Faesal, “Can you name 10 Kashmiri officers and ‘mainstream’ politicians who are burning their boats and publicly confronting the Pakistani narrative and promoting this ‘change’“?
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