Kannan Gopinathan, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who shot to prominence for his anonymous participation in the flood relief efforts in Kerala last year, has submitted his resignation from the service.
“I want my freedom of expression back. I want to live like me, even if it is for a day,” said Kannan Gopinathan, a 2012-batch IAS officer hailing from Kerala, who submitted his resignation to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration.
The AGMUT cadre IAS officer is currently in charge as secretary of power, urban development and agriculture departments in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration.
According to The News Minute, Kannan wrote a letter to the Home Secretary on August 21 saying he wishes to be relieved from the Indian Administrative Service.
"I want my freedom of expression intact. I joined the services believing I can give voice to others, but here I am unable to use my own voice. My resignation will give me my freedom of expression back," Kannan Gopinathan told TNM.
"I know this won't make any impact, it would be news for half a day only. But I wanted to do it nevertheless. I wanted to act as per my consciousness," he added.
Kannan was was disturbed by the recent events in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to The Hindu, Gopinathan said, "Over the past few days, I have been really perturbed by what is happening in the country, wherein a large section of our population have had their fundamental rights suspended. There has been a lack of response to it. We seem to be perfectly fine with it."
"We got into the service thinking that we can provide voice to people, but then we ended up with our own voice being taken away from us. In a democracy, let’s say Hong Kong or any other democracy, if the Government takes a decision, that is their right. But the response to that decision is the people’s right. Here, we have taken a decision and then we have detained everybody. They are not even allowed to respond to that decision. That is dangerous," he added.
Gopinathan became well known in September 2018 for his selfless work during the Kerala floods. The officer who was the then District Collector of the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli had rushed to Kerala to help at a relief collection centre and had toiled without telling anyone that he was a District Collector. His identity became known only after another officer recognised him.