ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shah Faesal and Sheikh Abdullah

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The politics of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been unsettled by the resignation of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) topper Shah Faesal, who quit the services and announced his decision to join politics. Going back to the 1930s, the people of J&K had been in search of political icons, who would help construct them a socially, politically, as well as economically stable Kashmir. The period witnessed a highly qualified person, who was working as a schoolteacher, resigning from his government job and joining politics: Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, who initially founded the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, which was renamed as Jammu and Kashmir National Conference after seven years. Faesal also resigned from his job on 9 January 2019 and decided to join politics. It seems likely that he may float his own political party, like Abdullah had. Coming to power, Abdullah had pushed for various reforms and changed political structures, for which he is known as the Lion of Kashmir. However, the political field for Faesal is not as easy as it was in Abdullah’s time. The present situation of Kashmir has deteriorated and Faesal will have to deal with both mainstream politics as well as the separatist groups in the Valley.

Parties like the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party have not been able to heal the wounds of the people of the state. The emergence of the third front with the People’s Conference led by Sajad Gani Lone and backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party seems a danger to the politics of Kashmir as people find their ideology to be a threat to the ethos of Kashmiriyat. In this situation, Faesal’s entry assumes vital significance. He calls himself “a man from the system” and is oriented more towards governance. According to Faesal, those who govern the state do not represent sentiments. The question now is how Faesal will deal with all these situations and if he will succeed. The IAS topper has opened the debate all across the political spectrum of J&K. If he succeeds in his political mission, it is possible that Kashmir may in fact witness good governance.

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Updated On : 8th Feb, 2019

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