Yesterday, the news of demise of Mr. Manohar Parrikar, the erstwhile defence minister and the Chief Minister (CM) of Goa has left the country with a wave of mourning and political void. Apart from being the first IITian CM, there were many qualities about him which set him apart from the rest. On this day of national mourning, let us revisit few of them.
First IITian Chief Minister
It was in 2000, when Mr. Parriker, an IITian was sworn in as chief minister of Goa. Besides having academical association with the most prestigious institution of India, he also depicted the principles and spirit it stands for on various occasions. While fighting with his disease, you all might have seen him observing ongoing work, presenting Goa’s budget and even participating in public gathering wearing a nose drip. This level of commitment and dedication was kind of first from a politician.
Overseeing first official cross border strike
It was under the watch of Mr. Manohar Parrikar as defence minister that army crossed the LOC to destroy the terrorist launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) in the aftermath of URI attack on army camp. The other strike and possibly the more important but less talked was strike on the North east terror camp in Myanmar. This is believed to have inflicted a heavy casualty on the strength and capabilities of north east terror outfits.
The Man behind OROP implementation
Mr. Parriker was the main force behind the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) for the armed forces. This was a very complicated and emotional issue as forces were asking for same since last three to four decades. Apart from huge financial requirements, there were too many operational and functional complications involved about the criteria, definition of OROP, start date and renew period etc. But, as expected, Mr. Parriker tackled all of them with his sheer brilliance and finally OROP became a reality in 2015-16.
A simple and unorthodox politician
Mr. Parriker was very well known for this simplicity and attitude. The images of people in Goa crying when he resigned from CM’s post to join in Delhi as defence minister might still be fresh with many of you. He was usually seen on airports and other public places calmly waiting in the line for his turn along with common people. After being elected in Goa, he was the first politician to voluntarily take off read beacon from his official vehicle.
Mr. Manohar Parrikar, throughout his whole life had been an epitome of simple living and high thinking. Even after being deep into the circles of power, he remained close and reactive to people on ground.
On this sad and unfortunate day of his demise, we pray to the almighty God that may his soul rest in peace.