|Early Times Report|
jammu, Jan 4: Is India a state or a banana republic where one can even preach secession and goes scot-free? The manner in which Shah Faesal, an IAS of 2010 batch and presently Director, School Education, Kashmir, conducted himself the other day and the manner in which the Union Government apparently ignored what he said in writing do suggest that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Indian state.
The case in point is what Faesal, along with Mehboob Makhdoomi, wrote in a national daily Indian Express (Jan 3). They in their article "A paradox in the Valley", among other things, wrote: "The perception that it is not ballot but the deep-state that changes regimes in Kashmir must end. In the true spirit of free speech, public debate must be allowed to include the whole range of issues, from governance to regional aspirations to issues of minority communities like the Kashmiri Pandits and, most importantly, the right to self-determination. That is how the environment of suffocation and siege can end in Kashmir".
What Faesal and Makhdoomi wrote was undoubtedly seditious in nature. Leave aside the fact that they didn't say that the talk of right to self-determination was conditional: Pakistan will vacate the aggression, India would maintain law and order in the areas to be vacated and plebiscite would be organized across the state as it existed on August 15, 1947, and not region-wise or district-wise. (Since Pakistan refused to vacate the aggression, ceded over 5,000 sq km area in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to China and changed the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, the UN resolution of August 13, 1948 that talked about the right to self-determination became invalid and infructuous.)
That Faesal continues to walk free should clear all the cobwebs of confusion and establish that the Indian state is not a state in the real sense of the term. And, it was not the first occasion, when Shah Faesal made controversial statements in writing. He did so in the past a number of times. Had the Union Home Minister and the PMO acted on time and nipped the evil in the bud, things would have been somewhat different and Faesal would not have written and said what he wrote and what he said while being in service flouting all service rules.