Kashmiri bureaucrat and IAS topper of 2010, Dr Shah Faesal recently dropped a bombshell on social media saying that government job is a slavery of “mind, eyes, tongue, hands and feet.”
“I have very strong reasons to support youth taking up entrepreneurship, start-ups and self-employment. It gives a man complete freedom. Government service, in turn, is a freedom of stomach only. It is slavery of mind, eyes, tongue, hands and feet,” Dr Faesal said in one of his status posted on Facebook on March 14.
In a place like restive Jammu and Kashmir where we don’t have many mainstream heroes, Dr Faesal continues to be a youth icon inspiring thousands of lives. So when a well-educated man of his stature complains of slavery, what will be the fallouts of his “candid confession” on the minds of those who want to follow his footprints?
While people, mainly youth are debating Faesal’s status, Shailendra Mishra, a young IPS official has gracefully countered Dr Faesal. Though Mishra is known for his Dabang arguments on social media and otherwise, this time he has avoided any direct confrontation. An MBA by qualification, Mishra who is presently posted as SSP Udhampur, wants the “young fellows” to follow their dreams and warmly greets the government job aspirants with “Welcome Onboard. Cheers.”
“I’ve spent more than 7 years in government service. Before this I worked as an entrepreneur and a corporate employee too. What the government service has done to me is: it has improved my intellect, sharpened my reasoning, provided me the largest canvas to experiment. I as an employee could be offered any other job. It has made me believe that it’s not only profiteering but human service that makes you a good mortal, and most importantly it brought me very close to my people who don’t have any other voice, except mine, to assert theirs. This service of government is not a mere job, it’s an opportunity to provide lakhs of young talents, an atmosphere to express their abilities and build their enterprise. It requires one to rise above self doubt to deliver as a government servant, a servant of “We the people”. Young fellows, go follow your dreams, make yourself an entrepreneur, be rest assured, there are confident guys too in government who would give you the right environment to flourish your trade. And if you want to be a part of this governing machinery, believe me, you won’t get a raw deal. You will always be a winner. Welcome aboard. Cheers,” Mishra says in his Facebook post.
Interestingly in July 2016, during unrest in Kashmir, a war of words had heated up between Dr Faesal and Mishra over a similar issue. That time Dr Faesal had threatened to resign “sooner than later” after his picture had been juxtaposed with that of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani by a section of news channels.
Responding to his “cry baby” post, Mishra had written: “This is my nation and I’m out to defend it. No amount of criticism or threatening shall make me a coward, crying to quit. I qualified for the service not only to do a job but to serve. I don’t want to be a role model myself, let my service be a role model for people to emulate.”
This time, however, the Police official seems to have avoided any direct confrontation with his civil services senior, lest it again causes a stir.
But then why should anyone be a slave in a free country? If being a government servant is “slavery of mind, eyes, tongue, hands and feet” does it mean some hidden master guides Dr Faesal even in his expression of speech?
Freedom from slavery is legal right of every citizen in the country where Dr Faesal is an IAS topper. So can we anticipate that this “slave” might someday join the popular chorus of his home town: Hum Kya Chahtay Aazadi?