New Delhi: After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar breathed his last on Sunday evening. The former defence minister passed away at the age of 63. Born as Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar in Parra village of North Goa on December 13, 1955, Parrikar was an exemplary leader who donned several hats during his lifetime.
In the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he was a ‘true patriot, exceptional administrator and an unparalleled leader’. He started his journey as a Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and went on to become the country’s Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa. With his righteous image, the politician left an ever-lasting impression in the hearts of many.
The IIT Graduate:
Parrikar graduated 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 also awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2001.
IIT Bombay released a statement condoling the death of Parrikar.
“Goa Chief Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar’s demise comes as a shock to all of us at IIT Bombay. He was the Institute’s Distinguished Alumnus and keenly involved with many initiatives at IIT Bombay. He was also deeply involved with the launch of IIT Goa. He was the Chief Guest for the 55th Convocation of IIT Bombay held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at 10.00 AM at the Institute’s Convocation Hall. The Institute condoles his demise.”
The RSS Pracharak:
In the year 1981, Parrikar was appointed as the RSS sanghchalak (local director) to the organisation he joined when in school. He was active in the RSS’s North Goa unit and also became a key organiser of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Parrikar used to take pride in his RSS background and had said that he learnt discipline, progressiveness, nationalism and social responsibility from the organisation.
The Defence Minister:
Parrikar served in the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Defence Minister of India from 2014 to 2017. He came out with a new policy, known as the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) and created a new procurement category, called the Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category, which became the most preferred category for buying equipment.
Under his guidance, defence exports rose from Rs 1,153 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 2,059 crore in 2015-16, despite two-thirds of the items being removed from the military goods list.
The government tried to address the long pending One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy during Parrikar’s tenure. Parrikar also doubled the compensation for widows and families of soldiers dying while fighting for the country in five categories.
Under his regime, the compensation for soldiers dying at the border against militants was revised to Rs 35 lakh from the existing Rs 15 lakh. For deaths occurring during enemy action in war or war-like engagements, in a war-torn zone in the foreign country, the compensation was increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 45 lakh.
Even the Indian armed forces dealt with Pakistan quite sternly during his tenure.
The Goa CM:
Manohar Parrikar became the chief minister of Goa for the first time in the year 2000. His tenure lasted until February 2002 but on June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and served another term as CM. He served the second term as the state’s CM from 2012-2017. On March 14, 2017, Parrikar was sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa again.