Shah Faesal
Shah Faesal along with Shehla Rashid Shora,during the launch of his political party, J&K Peoples Movement in SrinagarTwitter

Last week, when IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal launched his party - J&K Peoples' Movement -in Srinagar, many mainstream political parties, including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, had taken a dig at him calling him a state agent who wants to divide Kashmiris.

Faesal responded to his critiques saying that "those who were parading before him some months ago to join their outfits are suddenly calling him an agent." He has promised to bring the winds of change to the valley through his party's slogan "Hawa Badlegi".

Faesal reiterated that he would need public support in terms of votes and finance to run his party and has already started a crowdfunding campaign. A youth icon as many would call him due to his academic and professional record despite coming from a trouble-torn state has made many believe that he seems honest. Faesal and Shehla Rashid coming together have evoked interest on the national front too with many young political leaders such as Jignesh Mevnani and Kanhaiya Kumar congratulating the due for their debut.

Shah Faesal - a welcome change in the traditional dynasty politics of J&K

Unquestionably, J&K has been ruled by governments led by either the Abdullahs or the Muftis leaving little space for those with non-political backgrounds to make their mark.

It is an open secret that anyone who joins either National Conference or Peoples Democratic Party remain subservient to Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar or late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti. 

Shah Faesal
Shah Faesal/ Facebook

Even as BJP made several attempts to hit at these party by referring to them as dynasts crushing internal democracy, the truth is that BJP holds no ground in J&K. Shah Faesal's entry into politics is definitely a fresh change and may even lead to a change in the heart of voters who have had to choose between the Abdullahs and the Muftis.

There is Sajad Lone too on the forefront of politics in the state, but considering his history of allegiance towards separatists and BJP, political commentators do not view him as a trendsetter like Faesal.

Faesal has the capability of striking a chord with the youth of the state, who consider him as an icon and want to follow his footsteps. On his inaugral address during the launch of J&K Peoples' Movement, the former IAS officer had specicifically mentioned how the youth in J&K have been subjected to various degress of atrocities ranging from custodial killings to pellet blindings.

But Faesal has focussed on development and considers it as a way to bring J&K out of troubled times.