New Delhi: A 2012-batch IAS officer, who rose to prominence for his relief efforts during the devastating Kerala floods last year, sent his resignation Friday.
Speaking to ThePrint, G. Kannan, an officer from AGMUT cadre of the IAS, said: “I had joined the service thinking I’d be able to give a voice to the public. But over time, I have found that I don’t have my own voice anymore.”
Kannan, 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,” since he thinks he is not senior enough for his resignation to make any difference.
“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.”
Already facing flak for his resignation, Kannan said he was being labelled an anti-national on Twitter. “But I’m okay being called anti-national for the sake of the nation,” he said.
Kannan, who 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 Narendra Modi government ever since it has come to power again.
On Kannan’s resignation, a senior official from the Department of Personnel and Training said on condition of anonymity, “The resignation is an officer’s prerogative…he has not given any reasons formally for his resignation, but the government will evaluate it.”
While his resignation is yet to be accepted, Kannan believes it’s only a formality since former IAS officer Shah Faesal’s resignation too has not been accepted yet.
‘Aghast’ after govt move on Article 370
While Kannan did not elaborate on what the immediate circumstances for his move were, sources in the IAS Association said he was very disturbed by the events that have taken place in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 earlier this month.
“He is very aghast by the fact that the fundamental rights of a section of the Indian population have been revoked for 18 days now, and nobody is asking a single question,” said a batchmate of Kannan’s, who did not wish to be identified.
“He would keep saying it is by definition a state of emergency if fundamental rights are suspended in anticipation of a security threat,” the batchmate added.
According to sources in the IAS Association, Faesal’s detention from the Delhi airport also affected Kannan deeply. “He was shocked that Faesal who was an officer like us can be detained without any reason…He felt that he would be doing a disservice to the country if he didn’t speak up and take a stand now,” the above source added.
Lauded for flood relief work in Kerala
It was just last year when Kannan earned accolades from across the country for working at relief camps in flood-ravaged Kerala for eight days without identifying himself as an IAS officer.
According to reports, Kannan spent two nights carrying large packages of relief material on his head from trucks in the port city of Kochi. But when he was recognised as an IAS officer, he quietly left the city.
Retired IAS officer Anil Swarup took to Twitter to express his disappointment over a young officer’s resignation.
“We are all proud of such officers. Kannan won accolades for his work. Why does he choose to resign from a service, the IAS, that offers so much scope to serve the people & derive enormous amount of satisfaction? He himself demonstrated what can be done,” he tweeted.