Interview | Shah Faesal: ‘I Want To Move On And Live A Productive Life’

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AS his recent resignation continues to draw online fun and fury, former bureaucrat in his defense says that he’s just accepting his weaknesses and moving on.

But Shah Faesal’s decision has already made him “a disillusioned monk who once sold his Ferrari” for the “cause best known to him” for his detractors.

However, the doctor-turned-bureaucrat-turned-politician-turned… terms the rage over his reason as gratuitous.

In a chat with Kashmir Observer, Shah Faesal talks about his departure from politics, his frizzled defiance, and his desire for a ‘productive life’.

Do you call yourself now – a separatist or a stooge?

One side has been calling me separatist and the other side stooge. That is a proof I am neither of the two.

Detractors accuse you of being an inconsistent man with no clarity of purpose.

Detractors are welcome to replace me and jump into my shoes. If I failed in doing something they are welcome to do it.

From a doctor to bureaucrat to politician and now what? Why this turnaround?

Life is a journey. I experimented with life and got many successes and many failures. There is no turnaround. I’m just accepting my weaknesses and moving on.

There’re reports in New Delhi media that you will be part of an advisory council?

I have absolutely no idea.

We saw stalwart politicians biting the dust on August 5. Do you think you can still make a difference?

There is nothing like biting the dust. Mainstream politics will always remain important in a democracy. Same people will rule again tomorrow. Wait and watch.

Can we call you a failed politician now?

You can call me anything. It doesn’t hurt you. I’m a better human being now. Even if I’m a failed politician.

Social media is abuzz with people wondering whether you will return their money and assets they donated you when you launched the party?

We got six lac one hundred rupees. Those who are used to abusing me will go to any extent in spreading lies. I have not spent a penny on myself and the facts are in public domain.

In a Facebook post on 09 January 2019, which prompted your resignation, you mentioned “unabated killings in Kashmir and the rise of Hindutva forces in the country”. What has changed now?

I have changed. My resignation created more problems than it solved.

How do you see the political scenario in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370?

In a democracy, the political process might slow down but it can’t end. I’m sure in the coming days we will see political activity again.

Has New Delhi betrayed mainstream political parties in Kashmir?

I don’t think I have an opinion on that.

What are your plans now? And what will you suggest to the thousands of youth who pinned hope on you?

I want to move on in life and live a productive life. How and where I have no idea at present.

Are you still under detention? How did you spend the time under detention?

I read a lot and spend time with my child.

Kannan Gopinathan, who quit IAS in August over restrictions imposed in Kashmir, wished you luck on twitter, how would you respond?

Kannan is a great human being. But we are different individuals in dialogue with different audiences. You can’t compare what he is doing with what I have done.

According to reports, you cited your supporters not speaking regarding your detention post August as one of the reasons, but wasn’t everyone suffering post 5 August?

Absolutely not. I don’t expect anyone to protest for me. I just said I expected some respect when we were in prison.

What, in your view, is the path ahead for the political formations in Kashmir given the fact that BJP enjoys power in Delhi? Is engagement with BJP inevitable?

I repeat, in a democracy it will be the people who will get to decide the government.

Modi-led government seems to be in no mood for dialogue. Do you see any chances of the dialogue process?

I don’t think I have any idea about this.

How would you describe revocation of special status to J&K now?

It is a fact of life now. A year has passed since. I realize I can’t do anything about it.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib did his Masters in Convergent Journalism from Central University of Kashmir (CUK) and is currently working with Kashmir Observer as Special Correspondent. He has been contributing stories for the newspaper especially on Politics, Security & defence and has a keen interest in Environment.

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