Kannan Gopinathan
Kannan Gopinathan Image Credit: Twitter

An Indian civil servant, who shot to fame for his relief efforts during the devastating Kerala floods last year, has resigned from his position Friday.

In a letter addressed to the country’s Union Home Secretary, Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Kannan Gopinathan wrote: “I, Kannan G, IAS officer of 2012 batch, AGMUT cadre, hereby submit my letter of resignation from Indian Administrative Service. I humbly request you to kindly accept my resignation and relieve me.”

The Centre is yet to take any action on the resignation.

Why did Kannan Gopinathan resign?

Gopinathan, who held charge as the secretary of key departments such as power, urban development and agriculture in Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration, said his resignation was “an appeal to his own conscience.”

According to Timesnownews.com, though the official reason behind his decision to quit is unclear, Kannan reportedly told a Malayalam news channel that the “clampdown of the fundamental rights” in Jammu and Kashmir had prompted him to put in his papers.

He reportedly said: “The prolonged suspension of fundamental rights in a part of the country, and the lack of responsiveness to it from the rest of the country is affecting me. This is happening in a micro-way everywhere. I would like to express my view that is not at all acceptable.”

Speaking to Indian news channel The Print, Kannan said: “I am not the Home Secretary or the finance secretary… my resignation won’t matter, but it’s for my one conscience and to get my own voice back.”

Social media reactions 

Kannan faced flak for his decision, while some called it cowardice, some labelled him anti-national. But this did not deter him from his decision. He reportedly said: “I’m okay being called anti-national for the sake of the nation.”

@acorn tweeted: “Kannan Gopinathan’s decision to quit the IAS exemplifies the moral dilemma of a conscientious public official. A good guy quitting means one less good guy inside the system. But staying in the system means accepting limitations on free expression.”

A few others took to the micro-blogging site to support Kannan.

Tweep @sanjukta wrote: “Kanan Gopinath an IAS officer has resigned because he could no longer be part of government, when government is corrupt and fascist. He bemoans, how can we all carry on like everything is normal. Exactly my feelings. We all should drop everything and start a movement.”

The Print also reported that Kannan had complained to the Election Commission against a political appointee giving him instructions during the Lok Sabha elections, also said he was being issued showcause notices incessantly for trivial reasons by the current government ever since it has come to power again.