Goa’s Chief Minister, former Defence Minister, and a master strategist, namely, Manohar Parrikar took his last breath on Sunday, 17th March 2019 at the age of 63. He took his final twitch after fighting a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. The man who changed the Goan political system, Manohar Parrikar had been ailing with pancreatic cancer for the last one year. He also underwent a lot of treatment in the US as well as at AIIMS, Delhi, and also in a private hospital in Mumbai. The BJP leader’s health was fluctuating for over a year now and it took a turn for the worse during the last two days. It is also been said by sources that he was put on life support on Saturday night, i.e. 16th March 2019.
Manohar Parrikar was always being called out as the successor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Parrikar was always a common man’s minister, even when he headed the secretive defence ministry. Apart from being called as the successor of PM Narendra Modi he was also called the shadow and the guiding light of the BJP government. He always had a moto of growing with the party.
He was born on 13th December, 1995 in the town of Mapusa, then Portuguese Goa. After having completed his schooling in Marathi, he went ahead for higher studies in metallurgical engineering from IIT, Mumbai. He gained all his disciple from the RSS shakha which he was a regular attendee of while he was in school. He also became the chief instructor of the organization for the costal state and rose to the post of sanghchalak later. He dropped out his post-graduation which he was perusing from IIT-Bombay and took over his post of sanghchalak and looked after it with all his heart. Later he was pushed into politics.
As a politician, Mahohar Parrikar made his debut in the state assembly in 1994, when he was just 36-years-old. In his first brush, he was considered to be the most aggressive opposition leader and dominated the proceedings. He was selected along with four other BJP members in the state assembly. From then onward, Mahonar Parrikar got into politics with all his heart and dedication. He contested for North Goa Lok Sabha seat and won one.
Union Ayush minister and North Goa MP Shripad Naik stated, “His first election as a Lok Sabha candidate secured him nearly 25,000 votes, which prompted the party to bring him into active politics. When I was the party president in 1991, he was given the charge of general secretary.” From there his dedication did make noise as from the earlier mere member count of 4000 he increased it to 4.2 lakh members in a state.
Over eons, he helped BJP grow in power and went on becoming the Chief Minister in 2000. From four MLAs in 1994, Parrikar was instrumental in raising the strength of BJP to 17 in 2002, that made him the chief minister for a second term.
He was a man with firebrand personality and a confidence to take on the ruling front in the assembly while exposing the scams. He was a man who brought in a lot of changes. He was the one who cut across the caste and religious lines and retained all possible discipline and simplicity in his actions.
A senior BJP party functionary said, “His educational qualifications, ability to raise voice against corruption and vision for the development of the state helped the party to grow.”
With his continuous dedications and honesty, he became the first IITian Chief Minister of Goa in 2000 at the age of 44. After becoming the Chief Minister, he did not change anything about himself. He was always seen in his simple shirt and chappals. He did not change himself which in turn fetched him a lot of popularity. Popularity just because he did not follow the tradition of roaming in government official cars. He would go to his office on a scooter and also became the most accessible chief minister of Goa. His strategic mind set launched a lot of schemes that showered grit on corrupt politicians.
He would always visit a church and would gain the blessings of the catholic community and soon the technocrat-politician helped BJP party gain acceptability in the largely Catholic state.
He always enjoyed having a clean-slate image. His political career brought to him a lot of challenges but he did not run away from them. As an example, in 2017, as the Goa Assembly elections threw up a hung Assembly, Parrikar did not hesitate to quit as defence minister to return to the state as chief minister. He lawfully continued to follow his duty.
It is interesting to know that Manohar Parrikar became the Chief Minister of Goa without having an experience in government and politics. He was a man who would trust his understanding and observation and then would make any decision. He in very less time understood the political dynamics. He built bridges with Churches and went to please the minorities, tribal and the OBC’s. after his understanding of the regional disparities, he pioneered, “sabka saath sabka vikas”.
Even after being a gem of a man and being a fout-time chief minister, Manohar Parrikar could never complete his term for five years.
It is rightly said, “bad things happen to good people” and hence he, last March he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. He underwent a lot of treatment. Even after being critically ill, he followed all his duties and was last seen in public at Atal Booth Karyakarta Sammelan earlier in February when BJP chief Amit Shah came to address the party. He also attended the Budget session of Goa Assembly on January 29 and presented the state budget the next day even after being under treatment.
He was truly the man everyone should look after too. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Manohar Parrikar as the “builder of modern Goa” and lamented on his demise.
PM Modi tweeted, “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.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving condolence also said, “Shri Manohar Parrikar was an unparalleled leader. A true patriot and an 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, Om Shanti.”
He further added-
On his death, Rahul also expressed his grief and tweeted-
“The chief minister died around 6.40 pm Sunday,” a senior state government official told PTI.