A hard road ahead

Shah Faesal says he is pretty sure about joining politics, but he has stopped short of shaking hands with any existing political outfit. The road ahead for him is wobbly, but his experience within the system should help him overcome the stumbling blocks along his way.

Days after his announcement to quit the civil services and plans to work for helping people facing the escalating violence in the state, he has got a positive response. However, this support came only after plethora of “abuses” was hurled at him on social media. Initially, there were talks of his joining a regional party, but adulation and support came his way only when he distanced himself from any such plans.

The situation in the state is volatile and he knows that. He has already questioned the Central Government’s approach in handling the security situation in the state on various fronts. He has also distanced himself from the separatists for not believing in the electoral politics and the system. In the light of this situation, it will be a long battle, which he may be able to wage single-handedly, but would not be able to fight all alone. Even amid the space he has created for himself, he needs a political platform to achieve his goal. Only then can he be in a position to improve the situation in the Valley, which has witnessed an escalation in violence over the past few years.

J&K is all set for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections due in the next few months, but would Faesal be able to garner enough support to be able to win one? He plans to visit various districts in Jammu & Kashmir soon to get a feedback from the stakeholders, particularly the youth, to see if they extend support to him in the upcoming elections.

And as he witnesses the state torn apart by insurgency and counter-insurgency up-close, he aims to get a feedback on the ground situation from all those who know the issues and those affected; he starts from his home in North Kashmir this week. Having been associated with the system for the past eight years, he knows how the “legal and policy framework” works in conflict situations. He knows what the state can or could offer. A decision on whether to join mainstream politics or not would follow this trip. Until then, all eyes are on Shah Faesal.

Ehsan Fazili