Kannan Gopinath had shot to fame a couple of months ago when he resigned as the Secretary of the Power, Urban Development and Town and Country Planning Departments of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, after the Government of India revoked Article 370 in J&K.
Now, a little over a month since he resigned, Kannan, the Kottayam-born Malayali, was in the city to give a talk titled “Why I resigned” at the Lamakaan. And even as the large gathering at the centre was eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the former IAS officer, he made a quiet entry. Later, he spoke about how life has been treating him since his decision that made waves throughout the country. “I feel empowered after I got back my ‘freedom of expression’ intact, and I am happy that I can now raise my voice as a citizen, which is more powerful,” explains Kannan.
Voicing the divide
The 33-year-old, sadly, believes that the feeling of oneness is not entirely deeply rooted among the citizens of the country today. “And that hurts me because a problem in any region is treated as an isolated instance instead of linking it to national interest,” articulates the BITS-Pilani graduate. In fact, Kannan is one who believes that when institutions fail, individuals should rise and take charge.
Taking on a system
“Even to resign, you need to first enter the system. Of course, one can still make a difference by being in the system, but this was my choice when the ‘fundamental right’ of a large section of people was suspended,” says the 2012-batch IAS officer with a smile. So what does he plan hereon? “An honest officer has little savings, and I am running out of mine,” he says chuckling, and adds, “I still need to pay my bills. While I haven’t decided anything yet, I am keeping a three-month window to find something. I’ve been travelling around, and I hope to pick up something soon.”