Manohar Parrikar – a Tribute to a true statesman

Manohar Parrikar – a Tribute to a true statesman

Manohar Parrikar, Goa chief minister,  a former defence minister who had been battling a pancreatic ailment for over a year, died at his private residence. He was 63.

Parrikar (13 December 1955 – 17 March 2019) was an Indian politician and leader of Bharatiya Janata Party who was the Chief Minister of Goa from 14 March 2017 till his death. Previously he was Chief Minister of Goa from 2000 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2014.

He served in the National Democratic Alliance government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Defence Minister of India from 2014 to 2017. He was a former member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. 

Early life :

Manohar Parrikar was born in Mapusa, Goa.  He 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 (IIT Bombay) in 1978.

He was the first IIT alumnus to serve as MLA of an Indian state. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the  Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai in 2001.

Manohar Parrikar –  a tall leader :

Despite his falling health, Parrikar had presented two state budgets in 2018 and 2019 and had attended public functions, including the inauguration of an iconic bridge across River Mandovi. 

A known fighter, an ailing Parrikar’s decision to go for a ride and inspect two upcoming bridges in the state with a feeder tube protruding from one nostril was a defining image and sought to suggest that he was still in-charge of the state.

Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle-class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay.

Political Career :

Manohar Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency.

Manohar Parrikar

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  Sandhachalak (local director) at the age of 26.

He was leader of the opposition from June to November 1999. He successfully contested the election to become Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on 24 October 2000.

In the 2014 General Elections, BJP won both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa.  Parrikar was reluctant to leave Goa and move to Delhi in November 2014, by his own admission but was persuaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the central government.

Personal life – Manohar Parrikar :

His wife Medha died in 2001. They have two sons.   As of March–June 2018, Parrikar was undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment at a hospital in the US.

He returned to India and in September was admitted in the AIIMS, Delhi for treatment. On 27 October 2018 the Goa government announced that CM Manohar Parrikar has pancreatic cancer. 

He passed away on 17 March 2019 at the age of 63 years, due to advanced pancreatic cancer at his residence in Panaji. His death was announced by the president of India. 

Awards :

  • 2018: Honorary Doctorate by National Institue of Technology, Goa on 28 September 2018.
  • 2012: CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in politics category. 
  • 2001: Distinguished Alumnus Award IIT-MUMBAI
Tribute :

He was the builder of modern Goa.  His personality and nature made him a preferred leader for years.  His policies ensured Goa to reach a remarkable heights of progress.   His impeccable service to the country will be remembered by all.

Two months ago, he said he will serve Goa until his last breath.  It was a promise he lived his best to keep.

Manohar Parrikar is India’s 18th Chieft Minister to die while in office.

He will be given state funeral today.

We at pray for his soul to rest in peace.

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