“I want my freedom of expression back. I want to live like me, even if it is for a day,” Kannan Gopinathan, a 2012-batch IAS officer hailing from Kerala, who submitted his resignation to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration Wednesday, told ieMalayalam.com. Kannan held the post of secretary of key departments like power and non-conventional energy sources in the administration.
“If you ask me what you were doing, when one of the world’s largest democracies announced a ban on the entire state, and even violated the fundamental rights of the people, I should at least be able to reply that I resigned my job,” he said in the interview.
“I joined civil service with the hope that I can be the voice of those who have been silenced. But here, I lost my own voice. The question is not why I resigned, but how I cannot. I don’t think my resignation will make any impact. But when the country is going through a turbulent time, when someone asks me what did I do, I don’t want to say, ‘I took leave and went on to higher education in the US.’ It’s better to quit the job,” he said.
“We used to say to change a system we should be in the system. I tried a lot. But I have no hope of correcting this system. People know how much I have done for them. But that is not enough. I have no savings and I am currently living in the Government rest house. I don’t know where to go from here if I am asked to leave. My wife has a job. She is very supportive of me. That gave me immense courage,” Kannan added.
While he was the district collector of DNH administration, Kannan had made headlines after he was seen actively participating in relief and rescue operations during the devastating floods in his home-state Kerala last year. As the official representative of the DNH administration, he also handed over a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala CM disaster relief fund.
Carrying sacks of relief materials on his back and distributing them at relief camps, the IAS officer pitched in like any other common man. Ultimately, a fellow officer gave away his identity and his face came to be plastered on television channels and news websites.
The news of Kannan’s resignation has given rise to discussions in the media. Kannan, an electrical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, worked as a design engineer with a private firm before entering the administrative services. He secured the 59th rank in the 2012 civil services examination.
Sandhya KP is a journalist with ieMalayalam.com