New Delhi: A senior Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer from Kerala resigned from the coveted service on Friday as he thought that being in service was curtailing his freedom of expression.

In an interview to a Malayalam website, Kannan Gopinathan said that he took this step as he wants his freedom of expression intact which cannot be the case if he continues to be in service. His resignation, he said, will give him this freedom back.

Reportedly, the officer was upset that due to service rules, he was unable to speak about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which, according to him amounts to a suspension of fundamental rights of an entire population. He was also said to be perturbed about what he perceived as a lack of response from the rest of the country as though Kashmir is some distant country.

He confirmed the same in his interview, saying that while he understands that his resignation would neither make any impact nor be news for too long, he wanted to act as per his consciousness. He further said that if someone asks him what did he do about Kashmir, he should at least be able to say that he resigned from his job.

He further said that he joined civil service with the hope that he can be the voice of those who have been silenced, but he himself was silenced. He added that he had no hopes left of correcting the system and thanked his wife for being supportive of him.

Gopinathan came to limelight during last year’s Kerala floods when he carried relief material on his back just like any other and distributed the same at relief camps. However, his identity was given away by a fellow officer thus making him a national hero.

At the time of his resignation, the officer was holding several key departments like power, urban development and agriculture in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration.