Monday, June 21, 2010

I want to communicate idea of India to Kashmiri youth: Faisal

NEW DELHI: For the young men in the troubled Kashmir Valley now there are images other than the shadowy militant. "For them my selection is an event," says this year's IAS topper Shah Faisal. "It has given them the confidence and faith in the institutions," he told TOI on Monday. The young medical practitioner from the remote Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, sees the emotional integration of the Valley with the national mainstream as a time-consuming process. "It's a long-term goal which cannot be achieved in one day," he explains. Though he does not want to see himself as a `role model' for the Kashmiri youths living in the shadow of the gun, Faisal agrees he could be a motivating factor for them. "My success strengthens the faith of the Kashmiri youth in the institution of the UPSC," he says. Travelling to different parts of the country as part of his probation, Faisal admits that his topper tag will go a long way in breaking the stereotypes about the Kashmiri youth. "Trust building," he points out, is an important exercise. Asked about his objective as an IAS probationer, he says, "I want to convey the idea of India as I understand it." As a member of the elite cadre, he says, it is important to explode a few myths about the `steel frame'. "I want to bust the myth that IAS officers are insensitive, cut off from the people," he says. He is clear that in an age when specialists and technocrats are in demand, civil servants also have an important job to do. "A district magistrate has so many jobs to do, he just cannot be a specialist," Faisal says. He admits corruption in the administration is a major issue and thinks there is an urgent need for remedial measures.

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