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‘I Want My Freedom Of Expression Intact’: IAS Officer Who Shot To Fame For Kerala Floods Service Tenders Resignation

"I joined the services believing I can give voice to others, but here I am unable to use my own voice," wrote Kannan Gopinathan.

A senior IAS officer, who shot to fame for his efforts during the 2018 Kerala floods, sent his resignation on Friday, August 23. Why? He wanted his freedom of expression to remain intact.

Kannan Gopinathan, a 2012 batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer, currently in charge as secretary of power, urban development and agriculture departments in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration wrote to the Home Secretary on August 21, asking to be relieved from his post.

In the letter, Gopinathan wrote: “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. 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.”

According to a report in The News Minute, sources said that the bureaucrat tendered his resignation because he felt that he could not express his thoughts freely anymore and the suspension of fundamental rights of an entire population — Jammu and Kashmir.

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When Hindustan Times contacted him, Gopinathan confirmed that he had put in his papers but said that he would still be an employee till the time his resignation is accepted. “Technically, I am still an employee, so I cannot say more on this,” he said.

In 2018, when Kerala was caught in the catastrophic deluge, Gopinathan, who was then District Collector of the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli, had rushed to the state to help with relief activities. While he was on an official visit to hand over a cheque for Rs one crore from Dadra and Nagar Haveli for the Kerala chief minister’s relief fund, the bureaucrat did not return home once that was done. He reportedly went to one of Kerala’s worst-affected areas, Chengannur, where he went from camp to camp helping distressed people.

The 32-year-old bureaucrat had not divulged his identity to anyone. He worked discreetly for eight days before he was recognised by Ernakulam district collector YS Safirulla. On being recognised, the officer reportedly left as quietly as he had arrived.

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