Shah Faesal was an Indian Civil Servant, Doctor, and Politician. He is the first Kashmiri Muslim to top the UPSC exam in the very first attempt. Let us find out some more interesting details about Shah Faesal’s life, his family, biography and other facts.
Shah Faesal was born on 17 May 1983 (age 40 years; as of 2023) in the village Sheikh Nar in Sogam area, Lolab Valley, Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir, India. He was educated in Urdu medium at Government High School, Sogam, Kupwara. His father taught him English and Mathematics at his school. Faesal completed his MBBS from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS), Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He was a University topper.
Family, Wife & Caste
Faesal was born into a Sunni Islamic Family. His father, Ghulam Rasool Shah, was a Government School teacher. His mother, Mubeena Shah, was also a Government School teacher. Faesal’s father, Ghulam Shah, was killed by the unidentified militants in 2002; when he refused to give shelter to the militants. Faesal was 19 years old when his father was killed; after which, his family moved to Srinagar. He is a married man, but not much is known about his wife.
Faesal is the eldest of the three children. He has one younger brother, Shah Nawaz (Doctor) and one younger sister, Talat Shah (Library Assistant).
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 70 kg
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black
After completing his MBBS, Faesal worked as a Physician. He became the RTI activist in Srinagar. During this period, Faesal decided to appear for the UPSC exam to serve the country at a larger scale. He stayed in Srinagar to prepare for the exams rather than opting to go to Delhi. In 2009, at the age of 27, he appeared for Indian Civil Services Examination and stood out to be the topper of the batch. As per the reports, Faesal prepared only for a month before the exam; without any help from any coaching institutes. He chose Urdu as his optional subject during his Civil Services Exam.
Faesal was trained at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). He became the role model for the youth of Kashmir and also initiated many events to inspire the youth of Kashmir to take up the Civil Service Exam. He is often seen giving inspirational speeches to the UPSC aspirants and quite active on his social media accounts.
He was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner at Bandipora District of Kashmir Valley. On 9 January 2019, he resigned from the Indian Administrative Service to protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir. He announced the news of his resignation on his Facebook page.
After trying to join some political parties in J&K; eventually, he launched his own party- Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement on 17 March 2019 in Srinagar. The famous student leader from JNU, Shehla Rashid also joined his party among others.
After the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state of J&K, Faesal was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act, and after his release, he quit politics and expressed his desire to rejoin the IAS. In April 2022, the Government of India reinstated Faesal in service. The Tribune In September 2022, the Department of Personnel and Training issued an order to post him to the Union Culture Ministry. The Hindu
- In April 2018, his tweet stirred a huge debate across the country which was in the context of the Kathua Rape Case. He also tweeted a letter addressed to him by the Commissioner initiating the State Government to take action against Faesal for allegedly failing to discharge his duties in accordance with the Civil Services Rules.
- In another case, Faesal compared Article 35A of the Indian Constitution and stated that the repealing of the said Article would end the relationship of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India.
- He was also criticized to be on a long leave during his post as an IAS officer in 2018.
Movie: La La Land
Idol Leader: Mahatma Gandhi
History Teacher: Moshik Temkin
Poets: Dr Iqbal and Oscar Wilde
Books: Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani and Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru
Food Habit: Non-Vegetarian
- During the Kashmir unrest in 2016, Faesal criticised the national media for using his images to draw a comparison to Burhan Wani, a commander of a Kashmiri militant group.
- His hobbies include group discussion, listening to music, travelling, reading, and writing.
- He is inspired by Abdul Gani Mir, an IPS Officer from Kupwara.
- He criticized the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party stating “subversion of public institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation, and the National Investigation Agency has the potential to decimate the constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped.”
- After the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A by the Government of India, he was detained in Srinagar during the intervening night of August 13 & 14; when he was stopped from taking a flight to Istanbul at Delhi airport and was sent back to Srinagar.