Fondly called as BHAI, the legacy of Manohar Parrikar will live on. Hope his life becomes an inspiration for all young and qualified citizens to take a plunge in active Indian politics
G.K. Hegde Desai
Every Goan felt a personal loss when Chief Minister Manohar Gopalkrishna Parrikar left for heavenly abode. Why was he so special for the Goans? We Goans have witnessed different personalities as our Chief Ministers in the past. What is then so unique about Parrikar ji? Some swear that it was his simplicity that endeared him to the masses. In Goa and all over India too, there have been many political leaders who have mingled with the masses like him. But in him, we had an IITian with the most coveted degree of our country. His encyclopaedic memory coupled with sharp wit made him an intellectual powerhouse. He could speak extempore to not only his Engineer fraternity but also to the Chartered Accountants, reciting all the indices of the economy and to academicians like an erudite scholar. And yet, this man opted to use all his energies, physical and mental, only for the greater good of Goa, the state he loved immensely. Of course, on return, Goans loved him too. They fondly called him “BHAI” (brother) and not any other names like Saheb, Rao, etc.
Shri Manohar Parrikar along with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurating new bridge in Goa
Shri Manohar Parrikar touched the lives of Goans in many ways. He made Goa a permanent venue for IFFI, which gave a greater boost to the tourism industry. He created the necessary infrastructure for the event, when it was held first time in Goa, in record time. It is his vision to build a new bridge over river Mandovi now named “ATAL SETU”, which raised the beauty of Panjim city to greater heights. The ongoing construction of a new bridge on river Zuari connecting North Goa to South Goa is due to his efforts and planning. For many years in past, the Goans have only witnessed unending repairs of old bridges!! He created three mega sport complexes in Goa which are used by all upcoming sportsmen. On the education front, he created Educational Hub allotting place and facilities for “state of the art” School Complex at Bambolim.
Here was a Chief Minister, also holding education ministry, who personally provided all facilities for Goa University to raise its level from “B” grade to “A” Grade. On Health concern, he was instrumental in starting a Super Specialty Cardiac unit inviting the best doctors’ team, who responded to his call with pleasure, so that every Goan had affordable Heart Care. It was he who commissioned Sanitation Plant at Saligao North Goa, for waste disposal. This was a leap towards Swachh Bharat. He often paid late-night visits to supervise different jobs to ensure quality. The list of his contribution towards Goa’s development is endless, but his sabbatical as Defence Minister of India was the highest scale that he reached for himself and for all Goans.
BHAI’s legacy will live on. We hope that his life becomes an inspiration for all young and highest qualified citizens to take a plunge in active Indian politics. India needs more leaders like him in the arena of democracy. We pray that his Soul finds “Sadgati”.
(The writer is a Goa based columnist)