Shah Faesal: Government service ensures only freedom of stomach!

Six years into the elite Indian Administrative Service, Shah Faesal has created a stir by declaring in a social media post that govt jobs amount to slavery. Comments have come in fast and furious

Photo courtesy: Facebook
Photo courtesy: Facebook

Ashutosh Sharma

An inspiration to thousands of civil services aspirants and the first from Jammu and Kashmir to top the countrywide UPSC ranking for the elite Indian Administrative Service, Shah Faesal on Tuesday took to Facebook to lament that government job is slavery, while upholding self-employment.


“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 freedom of stomach only. It is slavery of mind, eyes, tongue, hands and feet,” Shah Faesal—after six years into service—wrote on his Facebook page, which has over 91,000 followers.


Many were quick to react, advising him to come out of “slavery” and set an example for others. Others sympathised with him. “In your state, entrepreneurship means writing one’s own obituary; government is the biggest roadblock, extortionist and.....,” Raju Moza commented.


“Government service is servitude if not slavery. I am fortunate that Allah saved both my sons from this ignominy,” commented former senior bureaucrat GA Peer on the post, which evoked an approving, “Very well said” from Faesal.


“Interestingly in Curfewed Nights, Basharat (Peer) points out that his father wanted him to be a public servant, if I remember well. But yes, we all change and grow. No one can be held hostage to something they once said or believed in. In a conflict area, this servitude turns into a stronger sense of power but creates a sense of deceit too, which no one can really escape from. It is a tight rope walk. At the same time, one certainly can contribute as per their intention and capacity, in government job or elsewhere,” commented Mantasha Binti Rashid.


“Your thoughts and expression are gaining more clarity and bluntness as time passes by,” wrote Roman Saini, co-founder and chief educator at Unacademy on his post. “I am happy that you had this clarity on day one of joining government service,” the Managing Director of the State Power Development Corporation, responded.


Aman Faroq, took a dig at both of them, commenting: “In other words Roman is making life hard for others by directing them towards slavery or servitude. But Roman is being loved much more than he would have been in IAS. It is time for Faesal Sir to take a break, DOPT has kept provision for study leave. Avail it like Kejriwall (sic) and never join back!”

“I have said this because I see a lot of youngsters chasing government jobs when there are so many great opportunities out there. We heard recently many PhDs applying for peon’s posts. I mean that is not how the world is supposed to be. Government service definitely doesn’t give you the kind of freedom that a start-up or entrepreneurship would give. Youth should any day choose creativity over stability, passion over power.”
Shah Faesal

“Shah Faesal I feel the region you are serving is also adding to your disappointment. From the reactions to your posts, I can see that there is a lot of resistance from the public to your views. I hope they don't oppose the good work you do,” Sanam Puri, one of his followers commented on his post.


“Ironically, these highly qualified slaves submit their will to their king who is highly unqualified… An inverted pyramid where the bottom is at the top and the top at the bottom. No surprise why this nation is in developmental hibernation,” Shah Tauseef commented.


Shah Faesal—an IAS officer of 2010 batch—frequently blogs about personal anecdotes and issues ranging from society, culture and governance among others, on Facebook besides writing columns for newspapers.


Last year, a video purportedly featuring Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum president Qayoom Wani’s abusive remarks about Faesal—when he was Director, School Education Kashmir—had gone viral in the state. In the undated video, widely circulated on social networking sites, Wani allegedly described Faesal as “Ulloo ka patha” and “chocolate boy” while addressing members of the Forum in Srinagar.


Expressing ‘complete disagreement’ Smita Sethi, a KAS (Kashmir Administrative Services) officer commented: “We are the government and not slaves. See the lines in front of sectt (secretariat), you will realise who is the king. We are slaves to our own ambitions. For which we refuse to open our minds and mouths. Yes we should be self employed so that we are independent and not dying to be part of a system of servitude. It's good to be your own boss but choice of employment and business should be for better reasons than slavery. In our system ask any entrepreneur who is based on government contracts what he has to face to survive the cut throat business. If you want to be independent then be like in metropolis system of Mumbai, where the bureaucratic red tapism and importance is minimum.”


When National Herald reached out to Shah Faesal about his post, he said “I have said this because I see a lot of youngsters chasing government jobs when there are so many great opportunities out there. We heard recently many PhDs applying for peon’s posts. I mean that is not how the world is supposed to be. Government service definitely doesn't give you the kind of freedom that a start-up or entrepreneurship would give. Youth should any day choose creativity over stability, passion over power.”

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