End of an Era…

By on May 07, 2019
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End of an Era…

VIVA GOA dedicates its ninth anniversary issue to Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar, chief minister of Goa and former Defence minister of India. Our special tribute includes features by people who respected him, articles written by him, and stories from our archives

March 17, 2019, was a dark day for Goa. Thousands from across the state gathered to say their last goodbyes to chief minister Manohar Parrikar, or Bhai as he was fondly known. A young boy from the tiny village of Parra in North Goa, Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar began his journey as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member. Little did he know that he would serve Goa four times as chief minister and also go on to serve his country as Defence minister.

One of the first Indian politicians to visit the Pentagon in the United States, Manohar Bhai knew his way around technology, thanks to his IIT background and his interest in keeping himself informed. His strong observational skills and inquisitive mind helped him grasp the nuances of the new US technology .

He was the first Defence minister of India to have been given an enhanced honour cordon at the US defence headquarters - Pentagon reserved for valued guests and visitors.

He aimed at implementing similar technology in India for the betterment of the defence forces and strived towards it till the end.

All was fine until the dreaded day he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Despite the pain and inevitability of death, Bhai smiled in the face of his illness with courage. He never let the disease get the best of him and kept working through it.

Many know his undying love for Goan seafood. Even during his stint in Delhi as Defence minister, he missed eating fish and home-cooked Goan food more than anything.

He was known and admired in the political circle for his straightforwardness, humility and in-depth knowledge of technology.

In the words of president Ramnath Kovind: “Mr Parrikar was an epitome of integrity and dedication in public life. His service to the people of Goa and India will not be forgotten.” 

Bhai was truly a son of the soil for Goans. However, his prolonged battle did come to an end. Even in death he became the first Goan to receive national mourning where the Indian tri-colour flew half-staff all over the country as well as on all official buildings, including Indian embassies and consulates the world over. It was the first time the prime minister visited Goa to pay homage to a Goan.

We hope this three-section tribute unveils Bhai as the wonderful human being he was – in politics and personal life too.

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