Lack of response to J-K’s Art 370 issue upset me more: IAS officer

Chennai: IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who resigned recently and claimed he did so over “denial of freedom of expression” to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday said more than the scrapping of special status under Article 370, “the lack of response” to it was more upsetting.

“None was asking the government. Suddenly we all became part of the government and all of us felt obligated to be part of something historic…. When institutions fail, individuals should stand up. There is no other way,” he said at a public gathering here.

Nation building takes a lot of persuasion, patience and a bit of coercion, Gopinathan said adding more than the decision to do away with the special status, what happened after that was upsetting. “The lack of response for it was more upsetting.”

The 32-year-old officer of 2012 batch, who came into limelight after he hid his identity to join volunteers in relief work during the 2018 Kerala floods, had resigned last month while posted in Daman and Diu as Power Secretary.

“I had an issue with the Press Council of India saying it was okay with restrictions. Because media, the civil society and judiciary should do their job,” he said.

“People judge a decision by its effects, but the history judges decisions by the effects of its events. These days decisions are hailed as historic immediately after they are made without considering the second and third order effects,” Gopinathan said.

He urged the public to demand transparency from the government, saying it was never supplied willingly. The Kerala-born Gopinathan, who submitted resignation on 21 August, had been asked by the government to resume duty and continue to work till his resignation was accepted. His resignation, though, had made no mention of the Kashmir issue.