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‘My idealism let me down’ says former J&K IAS officer Shah Faesal, hints at possible return

Faesal, 1st UPSC topper from J&K, resigned in 2019 citing 'rising intolerance' in India. According to sources in administration his re-induction process has started, but he is yet to get post.

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Srinagar: Former IAS officer Shah Faesal — who became the first Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) topper from Jammu and Kashmir in 2009, but resigned from service in January 2019 citing “rising intolerance” in the country — took to Twitter Wednesday, to hint at his possible return to government service.

According to sources in the J&K administration, the general administration department (GAD) has opened Faesal’s re-induction process. He has not yet been given a post and is awaiting orders.

In a series of tweets Wednesday night, Faisal said that his idealism “let him down” and that he was really excited to start “all over again”.

“Eight months of my life (Jan 2019-Aug 2019) created so much baggage that I was almost finished. While chasing a chimera, I lost almost everything that I had built over the years. Job. Friends. Reputation. Public goodwill. But I never lost hope. My idealism had let me down,” he tweeted.

Faesal added: “But I had faith in myself. That I would undo the mistakes I had made. That life would give me another chance. A part of me is exhausted with the memory of those 8 months and wants to erase that legacy. Much of it is already gone. Time will mop off the rest In believe. (SIC)”

The former IAS officer further said that it was always worth giving yourself “another chance”. He, however, did not specify what the other chance was.

“Just thought of sharing that life is beautiful. It is always worth giving ourselves another chance. Setbacks make us stronger. And there is an amazing world beyond the shadows of the past. I turn 39 next month. And I’m really excited to start all over again,” he tweeted.

Though Faesal resigned from the civil services in January 2019, his resignation had reportedly not been accepted by the government, allegedly pending investigation into some of his social media posts. Government officials had said at the time that the non-acceptance of his resignation has kept the door open for his return to his position.

ThePrint reached Faesal on Whatsapp messages and Twitter. The copy will be updated once his response is received.


Also read: Forgotten Kashmir File: How India destroyed a terrorist network 50 yrs ago, without a shot


Friends tweet to congratulate, celebrate

After resigning from service, Faesal, had floated his own political party — Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement — in March that year and had plans to contest the assembly elections. But in August 2020, he stepped down as president of the party.

He was arrested following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, and the bifurcation of the state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. He remained under detention for over 1.5 years.

Faesal had been a doctor before he became a bureaucrat. His last position in government had been that of managing director of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC).

He had been selected as an Edward Mason Fellow for public administration at Harvard Kennedy School in June 2018.

Following his tweets Wednesday, Faesal’s friends, former Civil services colleagues and some BJP leaders also took to twitter to hail his decision and congratulate him.

Khushbu Sundar, BJP National Executive Committee member tweeted, “Hope. Makes you undo all the wrongs you have done to bring a new you. Umeed hi zindagi hai.”


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