‘Will join Covid-19 fight only as volunteer’: Kannan Gopinathan who quit IAS 8 months ago
Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kannan Gopinathan, who quit the service eight months ago, has been asked to join his duty immediately in the wake of Covid pandemic but he said he has no plan to rejoin the government service. Gopinathan quit the service alleging “growing intolerance and curtailment of freedom of speech”.
“Received a letter from the Govt, asking me to rejoin my duty. While I extend all my services in health, wealth and mind to the Govt in this fight against Covid-19 pandemic, it will be as a free and responsible citizen and not anymore as an IAS officer,” he tweeted.
Later, talking to the Hindustan Times from Maharashtra, where is settled now, the 2012-batch IAS officer said he got a mail from Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in this regard and he will be giving a reply in a couple of days. He said he is ready to serve the government and society but not as an IAS officer.
“I am engaged in some service right now. I would like to continue this. If the government wants I can go to Dadra and Nagar Haveli and any other parts of the country, but only as volunteer. Quitting IAS was a well thought out decision and I stick to it,” the 33-year-old said. Though Gopinathan quit eight months back, the government is yet to accept his resignation. He said he has no idea why it sent a communique at this juncture.
“I really suspect asking me to return is not with a good intent. I am not worried at all. Now I am working with some NGOs in Maharashtra. I don’t need the IAS tag to do some work. I am happy with my present freedom,” he said.
After quitting the service, Gopinathan was active in some protests and got arrested in December while going to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh.
During the 2018 floods, he came to Kerala to hand over a cheque of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration and left the place quietly. On leave, he worked for eight days in different relief camps discreetly by loading and unloading relief materials. He left immediately after his batch-mate, then Ernakulam district collector Y S Safarulla, recognised him.
Gopinathan’s silent service soon turned viral on social media after he left the state. He later said he was only doing his job when his state was in distress.
Gopinathan hails from Eramalloor in Alappuzha district. A UT cadre officer he was in Dadra and Nagar Haveli whe he quit the service.