Kashmir: You can either be a stooge or separatist, says Shah Faesal

Faesal wrote Kashmir needed a non-violent mass movement for restoration of rights

20-Shah-Faesal Shah Faesal | Umer Asif

IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal on Tuesday warned that Kashmir needed a “non violent political mass movement for restoration of political rights”. In a warning that attitudes could be hardening, Faesal said, “you can either be a stooge or a separatist now”.

Taking to Twitter, Faesal wrote, “Kashmir will need a long, sustained, non-violent political mass movement for restoration of the political rights. Abolition of Article 370 has finished the mainstream. Constitutionalists are gone. So you can either be a stooge or a separatist now. No shades of grey.”

Faesal has made headlines with his tweets on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir since the security clampdown started over a week ago. Faesal has been able to make statements via social media unlike former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are in custody.

On Sunday, Faesal had tweeted that there would be no Eid festivities until “everything that has been stolen and snatched since 1947 is returned back”. Faesal had tweeted, “There is no Eid. Kashmiris across the world are mourning the illegal annexation of their land. There shall be no Eid till everything that has been stolen and snatched since 1947 is returned back. No Eid till the last bit of insult is avenged and undone.”

The tweet by Faesal on Eid was severely criticised, with many accusing him of sedition.

On August 7, two days after the Narendra Modi government's momentous actions in Jammu and Kashmir, Faesal had posted an update on Facebook, claiming hospitals were full and people were being bullied.

Shah Faesal made history in 2009 when he became the first Kashmiri to top the IAS examination. However, in the past few years, Faesal's statements on social media on issues such as lynching had created controversy.

Faesal resigned from the IAS in January this year to launch his political outfit, 'Jammu & Kashmir People's Movement'. At the time of his resignation, Faesal had written a Facebook post explaining his motivation. He cited “the unabated killings in Kashmir, and the lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government”, along with “the marginalisation of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces” and “the growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism”.