Keralite IAS officer based in Dadra and Nagar Haveli quits to regain freedom of speech

Kannan Gopinathan
Kannan Gopinathan, a native of Puthuppally in Kottayam district, has confirmed that he has put in his papers.
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Thiruvananthapuram: Keralite Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kannan Gopinathan, who had discreetly taken part in the relief efforts during the floods of 2018 in Kerala, has resigned from the prestigious service.

Political pressure allegedly forced the young officer, the power secretary in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, to quit the coveted position.

Gopinathan, a native of Puthuppally in Kottayam district, has confirmed that he has put in his papers. Gopinathan alleged that he did not even have the freedom to voice his opinions and that he was resigning to regain that right.

"I chose the IAS to become the voice of the masses. Now, my own voice is curtailed. As an officer, I couldn't speak out on several matters. I want to regain that freedom through this resignation," he said.

Sources close to him said that Gopinathan resigned as he had no liberty to execute his plans. However, the resignation has not been formally accepted.

Volunteering bureaucrat

As Kerala battled through the worst floods in a century in August 2018, Gopinathan had voluntarily taken part in the rescue and relief efforts. Gopinathan was then the district collector of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Kannan Gopinathan
While in Kochi during last year's floods, Kannan carried sacks of materials from the trucks to the camps.

Gopinathan had reached Kerala to hand over the cheque of Rs 1 crore, collected as aid to the flood-hit state, to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Gopinathan, who witnessed the troubles of his homeland, took leave and got involved in volunteer service.

Gopinathan chose to join in the rescue efforts, without the airs of a bureaucrat, working shoulder-to-shoulder with other volunteers. He first reached the collection centre at Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram. Then he headed to Pathanamthitta. As soon as he entered the collection centre there, the camp coordinator had only one statement to make "Keep your bag aside, and start working". Gopinathan duly joined other youths in the relief operations. He worked from morning till evening at the camp and spent the night at nearby lodges.

Though he had met CM on the first day, Gopinathan did not inform that he would be heading to flood-affected areas.

While in Kochi, he carried sacks of materials from the trucks to the camps. He spent around eight days in the state, engaged in flood-relief service.

It was only when Ernakulam Collector Mohammed Safirulla, who was in charge of the collection centres in the district, and Sub-Collector Pranjal Patil visited the flood-relief camp at the Kerala Books and Publications Society that everyone came to know that Kannan Gopinathan was in fact an IAS officer.

He had won accolades for his selfless service.

The Puthuppally lad

After completing studies at the IHRD in Puthuppally, Gopinathan took his engineering degree from the Birsa Institute of Technology in Ranchi.

Popular in Mizoram too

Previously as the collector of Aizawl district Gopinathan had endeared himself to the public of Mizoram. Armed with technical knowledge, he came up with an app to alert about natural disaster and a smartphone to inform the authorities of power cuts.

He also played a crucial role in transforming the government schools in the district which also includes the state capital Aizawl.

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