STATE TIMES NEWSSrinagar/New Delhi: Shah Faesal, the first resident of Jammu and Kashmir who topped the civil services exam in 2009, on Tuesday said his decision to join politics last year had done more harm than benefit as his “innocuous act” of dissent was seen as an “act of treason”.A day after announcing that he was quitting politics, the 37-year-old defended his decision saying “we evolve with time” and abrogation of the special status on August 5 last year brought forth a new political reality in Kashmir.Faesal had brought glory to the erstwhile state by standing first in the civil services exam and was seen as a role model for youths. He, however, resigned from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in January last year.“While in detention I thought a lot about it. And I realised that I am not the person who can promise to people that I can undo these decisions,” Faesal, who was released after being kept under preventive detention and later booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), told PTI from Srinagar.Faesal said he was clear that the 1949 national consensus kept Article 370 in the Constitution and the 2019 consensus abrogated it.“I told myself that I can’t do politics by selling false dreams of undoing these decisions and it’s better to quit and tell the truth to the people,” he said in written replies.The doctor-turned-bureaucrat’s political career ended suddenly with the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM), a party launched by him in February last year, announcing on Monday that he had stepped aside from its leadership and quit politics. The party’s vice-president Feroze Peerzada was nominated as its interim president till formal elections can be held for the post.About his decision of forming a political party, Faesal said he wanted to revive democratic politics in Jammu and Kashmir.“But soon after quitting (IAS), I realised that my innocuous act of dissent was being seen as an act of treason. It had done more harm than the benefit,” he said, adding that his act had discouraged a lot of civil services aspirants and his colleagues felt betrayed by him. “It upset me a lot,” Faesal said.Unsure about what the future has in store for him, Faesal said he always dreamt of a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir where there are best opportunities for education, health and employment.“But I don’t know how that is going to happen now. As of now, I am not sure about my next steps in life,” he said.
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