Know the 'Common-life' of an 'Uncommon-man': Manohar Parrikar
Mr Manohar Parrikar was undoubtedly, the common man as he did not entertain private bodyguards and never traveled by a personal vehicle.
New Delhi: Death is something none can escape from. It is the deeds which everyone remember of the deceased. Despite of having every luxury, leading a simple life is not everyone’s cup of tea. One such identity was an Indian politician and leader of BJP, the Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar.
Born on December 13, 1955, in Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar studied at Loyola High School, Margao. He completed his secondary education in Marathi and went on to graduate in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1978.
-He was the first IIT alumnus to serve as MLA of an Indian state and Chief Minister of Goa from 2000 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2014.
-He has been awarded the 'Distinguished Alumnus Award' by the IIT-Bombay in 2001.
-Throwing light on the political career of this IIT turned politician, Parrikar joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a mukhya shikshak (chief instructor) in the final years of his schooling.
-After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa while maintaining a private business, and became a sanghchalak (local director) at the age of 26. He was active in the RSS's North Goa unit, becoming a key organizer of the 'Ram Janmabhoomi movement'. He was endorsed by RSS to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the objective of fighting the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. He is sometimes also described as having been a 'pracharak' of the RSS.
-Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Goa in 1994 as a member of the BJP. He was the leader of the opposition from June to November 1999 and successfully contested the election to become Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on 24 October 2000. His tenure, however, lasted only until 27 February 2002. In 2001, the Parrikar government turned over fifty-one government primary schools in rural areas to Vidya Bharati, the educational wing of the Sangh Parivar, inviting criticism from certain educationists. On 5 June 2002, he was re-elected and served another term as Chief Minister.
ALSO READ: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar passes away at 63
-Parrikar was succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar as Goa's CM and represented the Panaji constituency in the Goa Legislative Assembly when he was a player in the state politics. In 2014, Parrikar drew criticism for approving a junket costing at least Rs 89 lakh (Rs 8.9 million) for six government MLAs from the ruling party, including three ministers, to attend the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The Indian National Congress termed the trip "wasteful expenditure" and criticized the lack of other government officials or soccer experts in the delegation.
-In November 2014, he was chosen as the Minister of Defence replacing Arun Jaitley, who, till then, held the additional charge of the Ministry. His entry into the parliament was facilitated by choosing him as the party's candidate for the elected Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh.
-Goa Forward Party led by Vijai Sardesai, one of the parties who allied with BJP in Goa after election results were announced, had said that it would extend support to the BJP only if Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was brought back to the state as Chief Minister!
-On March 14, 2017, Parrikar was sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa.
-Mr Manohar Parrikar was undoubtedly, the common man as he did not entertain private bodyguards and never travelled by a personal vehicle.
-In the wake of the debate on religious intolerance in India and actor Aamir Khan stating that his wife Kiran Rao had asked to move out of India, Parrikar made a controversial remark that "if anyone speaks like this, he has to be taught a lesson of his life."
-He later clarified that he had not targeted any specific individual. In August 2016, Parrikar stated that going to Pakistan is the same thing as "going to hell!”
-In November 2016, Parrikar, while serving as Minister of Defence of India, raised a question about why India should bind itself to the no first use policy.
-The better half of Medha and father of two sons, this common man underwent treatment for a pancreatic ailment at a hospital in US. Fighting pancreatic cancer for more than a year, his only motive was to serve Goa till his last breath. In January, the four-time chief minister had said, "I would serve Goa till my last breath. His health had been fluctuating for several days and worsened on Saturday morning.
-Being on his deathbed, Mr. Parrikar never escaped from his duties. He had made public appearances with a tube in his nose, looking debilitated. Turning up at the state assembly, he presented the budget triggering Congress allegations that the BJP was parading him around, despite his condition to save its government in the state.
On Sunday evening, this 63 year old leader, embraced death at his son's home in Panaji. Losing such a down-to-earth-personality is not less than losing a gem. The news of his death left the entire nation sobbing and twitter as well as various social platforms gushed with message of condolences.
"Manohar Parrikarji's demise is extremely painful. In him, the nation has lost a true patriot who selflessly dedicated his entire life to the country and ideology. Parrikarji's commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary," the BJP chief tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind termed the four-time Chief Minister as an "epitome of integrity and dedication in public life."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Parrikar "an unparalleled leader". In a series of tweets, PM Modi said, "A true patriot and exceptional administrator, he was admired by all. His impeccable service to the nation will be remembered by generations. Deeply saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters."
“Shri Manohar Parrikar was the builder of modern Goa. Thanks to his affable personality and accessible nature, he remained the preferred leader of the state for years. His pro-people policies ensured Goa scales remarkable heights of progress,” “India will be eternally grateful to Shri Manohar Parrikar for his tenure as our Defence Minister. When he was RM, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen,” read another tweets by our PM.
The Union Minister claimed that he will be leaving for Goa to console Mr Parrikar's family in their moment of sorrow. "BJP managed to form a government in Goa because of him. He went on to become the Defence Minister, and then the Goa Chief Minister, all on the party's request. He was a down-to-earth worker. He's not with us today, and it saddens me. May he rest in peace," he said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra recalled her meeting with the former Defence Minister in a tweet as she condoled his death and said, "My condolences to the bereaved family of Shri. Manohar Parrikar. I met him only once, when he graciously visited my mother at the hospital two years ago. May his soul rest in peace".
Mr Tharoor described the late Goa Chief Minister as "a rare IIT graduate in politics who was widely admired for his simplicity and straightforwardness".
Akhilesh Yadav, for his part, wished for "strength to his soul and strength to his family". Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Mr Parrikar's untimely death has "left a void that will be difficult to fill."