Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS officer who resigned as a bureaucrat in 2019, has been reinstated to service and appointed as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. According to The India Express, the Centre had approved the decision to appoint him to the Culture ministry on Thursday. It has been reported in April this year that the Ministry of Home Affairs had agreed to take him back into the Indian Administrative Service.
Faesal’s resignation, however, was never accepted by the Centre. It is believed that Faesal too had withdrawn his resignation later. Hinting at his return to service in April, Faesal wrote on Twitter about “another chance” and being “excited to start all over again”.
“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,” Faesal tweeted on April 27.
In another set of tweets that have now been deleted, Faesal spoke about how his “idealism” had let him down, and that he 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 had tweeted, adding that he had faith that he would undo the mistakes he had made.
Faesal, a doctor-turned-bureaucrat and the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exams, served in various capacities in the state after being allotted the home cadre in 2008. His last posting was as Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC).
In June 2018, he was selected as an Edward Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and was supposed to rejoin government service a year later. However, in January 2019, six months ahead of his return to service, Faesal announced that he was resigning from the coveted service while hinting at joining active politics.
“To protest the unabated killings in Kashmir and absence of any credible political initiative from the Union government, I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter,” Faesal tweeted on January 9, 2019.
Later that year, Faesal floated his own political party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM). After the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Faesal was stopped from flying from Delhi to Istanbul and subsequently placed under detention till June 2020. Soon after his release, Faesal said he was quitting his party as well as his life in active politics.