Kashmir Indepth

Shah Faesal: A perception was built that I am anti-national

Shah Faesal, who resigned as President of J&K People’s Movement and quit politics, said Monday that Kashmir faced a new political reality, and he did not want to show “quixotic dreams” to people when he had no power to change it.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Faesal also said a perception had been built he was an anti-national. “In the last one year due to some of my problematic utterances, a perception was built that I am an anti-national… due to some of my statements, I let down a lot of people who had immense goodwill for me. I want to undo that,” he said.

According to Faesal, he realised that in politics it was really hard to tell the truth to public. “I did not want to lead Kashmiris down the garden path and raise unrealistic expectations,” he said.

Avoiding a direct reply to a question on whether he would consider returning to government service, Faesal said he had a life ahead of him and wanted to move and “do something productive”.

“I don’t know what’s stored in future and where will I go (sic). My fundamental interest is in education, health, poverty alleviation, employment generation and I wish to contribute in those sectors. This is a new world and I have many dreams for Jammu and Kashmir. I wish to start my life from a clean slate and do something productive,” he said.

Faesal said detention proved to be an “immense learning phase”. “I realised that at the end of the day you are all alone. It’s your family that suffers the most while ironically those for whom you seem to be standing up are drawing a sadistic pleasure out of your misery. Detention gave me the clarity of mind that I belong somewhere else. That I can’t destroy my life for those who won’t even cry for me,” he said.

The first Kashmiri to top Civil Services in 2009, Faesal said, he had not been speaking for almost a year. “I took my time lest it (quitting politics) was seen as a hasty decision. It has been a year since I spoke last,” he said.

To a question if he saw space for mainstream politics in J&K, Faesal said, “I have absolutely no idea Indian Express reported.”

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