Ashfaq Saraf writes from Varmul, Kashmir. His work has appeared in Himal South Asia, Kafila, Raiot, Northeast Review, Kashmir Lit, Kashmir Reader among others. The Harkening, his first collection of poems, was published in 2012.
The resignation of a celebrated bureaucrat Shah Faesal created a social media storm in Kashmir, with many welcoming his decision and many others questioning the politics and timing of it. Shah Faesal has left the world of bureaucracy to enter 'electoral politics'. In this timely essay, Ashfaq Saraf lays bare the functioning and purpose of bureaucracy in a militarized context of Kashmir and offers valuable insights into its 'false power and charm'.