The Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to initiate a departmental inquiry against IAS officer Shah Faesal. It is said that the Union government has decided to penalize him for a tweet allegedly mocking the nation over recent rapes occurred in the country.
Earlier in April, Shah Faesal had tweeted about the rape culture in India and allegedly referred it to as Rapistan.
Patriarchy+Population+Illiteracy+Alcohol+Porn+Technology+Anarchy = Rapistan!
— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) April 22, 2018
The Departmental inquiry has been initiated against the officer for the tweet, which seems to defame the country. It has said that the ‘officer has failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in discharging his duties’.
Faesal reacted to this by posting another tweet, calling it as a ‘love letter from the boss’. He said that the rules are of colonial spirit, and also of the view that there was a need for changing these rules. “The Irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience. I’m sharing this to underscore the need for a rule change,” he said.
Love letter from my boss for my sarcastic tweet against rape-culture in South Asia.
The Irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience.
I’m sharing this to underscore the need for a rule change. pic.twitter.com/ssT8HIKhIK
— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) July 10, 2018
In his tweet, Faisal has attached copies of the letter issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government initiating action against him while calling the order “a love letter from boss”.
The letter says that the central government has asked the J&K government to start an inquiry into the conduct of the IAS officer and that the officer has allegedly failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity and thus acted in a manner unbecoming of a public servant”. The letter also said that “the department of personnel and training, Government of India, a copy of communication along with its enclosures, in which several references have been made by you in which contents are prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of all India services (service rules).”
Shah Faesal said that the ban on their freedom of speech and expression is totally unacceptable. Faesal is currently on a long leave to pursue a fellowship in the United States.
After Faesal’s tweet, many on Social Media too reacted to his earlier tweet calling India “rapistan” and the subsequent inquiry ordered by the government.
Some questioned Faesal’s claims that the tweet was “sarcastic”. They asserted that either his statement was about “freedom of conscience”, or if it was sarcasm and “humour” it meant that he was trivializing and politicising rape.
So, which one is it?
“Freedom of conscience” or, freedom to politicize and trivialize rape in the name of “humour”?
— Ashima (@InTheWordsOfK) July 10, 2018
Some pointed out that Faesal has been breaking service rules for a while and it was about time he was held accountable.
Good, finally! You’ve been violating service rules and get away with it playing the victim card. Enough is enough https://t.co/kjqv0Y3mOv
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) July 10, 2018
It was also pointed out how the defence of Faesal is rather misplaced.
And as if on cue, the martyrdom defence….well at least these wannabe hurriyat types are predictable if nothing else… to everyone, except the clueless jackasses on the @IASassociation selection panel pic.twitter.com/BHUrscciam
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) July 11, 2018
Many usual suspects also came out in defence of Shah Faesal. Among them, was NC Chief and Ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah.
Looks like DOPT is determined to chase @shahfaesal out of the civil services. The last line of this page is shocking & unacceptable where they question Faesal’s “integrity & honesty”. How is a sarcastic tweet dishonest? How does it make him corrupt? https://t.co/6MdUBvC71p
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) July 10, 2018
Omar Abdullah also chose to defend Faesal saying that his tweet was “sarcastic” in nature. Though, many have questioned how calling one’s own country “rapistan” could be sarcastic.
It is evident that calling India ‘Rapistan’ was indeed against service rules. However, what action would be taken remains to be seen.