'Never take freedom for granted', top Kerala bureaucrat rec...| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 20 May 2022 04:46 GMT

'Never take freedom for granted', top Kerala bureaucrat recalls his days in prison


(MENAFN- IANS)

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 25 (IANS) Till the infamous gold smuggling case surfaced, M. Sivasankar, the then principal secretary and top Kerala bureaucrat was one of the most powerful official. But after that things went for a toss and on his 59th birthday, on Tuesday, Sivasankar recalls what life actually is, through his social media account.

The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020, when the Customs arrested Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.

Swapna Suresh, who previously worked in the UAE Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested in the case by the NIA from Bengaluru a few days later.

Trouble started for Sivasankar after Swapna's arrest and then came out juicy tales of the relation with Sivasankar.

Vijayan, unable to stand the massive onslaught, first suspended Sivasankar from service and in October 2020, Sivasankar was arrested and for 98 days he was cooling his heels in a jail, after which he got bail.

Sivasankar's suspension was revoked on January 5 and has been posted as principal secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs.

'Today is my birthday. I turned 59; I was born in the sixties. Like many who are from that generation, (perhaps even those who were born in the 70s and early 80s) in Kerala, birthdays were not really occasions of joyous celebration. It was just another day which indicated a new number in your template,'.

'While this year too, there is no celebration, today is extremely special to me. It is with profound gratitude that I remember the last year. This date last year, I had spent on the cold floor of a prison cell, surrounded by people whom I hardly knew. Since there is no Facebook alert to remind people around me, nobody even knew that it was my birthday. The very fact that I have the freedom now, to at least acknowledge birthday greetings, I realize, it means a lot. That is the one lesson which I had learnt- never ever take your freedom, which is invaluable, for granted. And always be on the lookout for people who could snatch it away,'.

Looking ahead, however, he says he is excited.

'I now have another 372 days more to complete my tenure in government service. This year, I feel relieved that the days are countable. Also I feel excited that after around this time next year, I can take on more challenging and meaningful work without the burden of expectations and the possibility of getting misunderstood. To that extent, it has been a very good makeover, personally,'.

'I also realise that even with FB reminders, the number of people who wished me well today are practically 1/10th of the usual well wishers. I am extremely happy to have been provided with this eye opening realisation that the people who really care for you are now clearly identifiable from the multitudes who extend meaningless pleasantries at an FB prompt,'.

--IANS

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