In commemorating the 68th Birth Anniversary of the former defence minister of India and Chief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Bhai, a revered figure in Goa’s political landscape, the state came together in a series of events on December 13th to honor his enduring legacy. Rising from humble origins, Manohar Bhai ascended to the remarkable position of India’s Defence Minister, marking a historic milestone as the foremost Goan to attain such eminence.
Renowned for his tenure as Chief Minister, Manohar Bhai’s leadership was both illustrious and contentious, marked by a blend of remarkable progress and controversies. Nevertheless, his steadfast governance heralded unprecedented advancements in Goa’s landscape.
In a heartfelt tribute on this occasion, Dr. Pramod Sawant, accompanied by eminent dignitaries, paid homage by adorning the statue and laying floral tributes at the serene Samadhi of the late Manohar Parrikar at the Smriti Sthal, Miramar—a solemn moment encapsulating his enduring influence as a guiding beacon in Goa’s political realm.
Manohar Bhai’s prominence in Goa’s political realm stands unparalleled, second only to the esteemed Bhausaheb Bandodkar, the state’s inaugural Chief Minister. Yet, in recounting his remarkable trajectory within Goa’s political echelon, a retrospective exploration becomes imperative. Delving into the annals of history, it’s crucial to trace his ascent to the zenith of Goa’s political hierarchy.
For the compilation of this article, I’ve meticulously gleaned information from various online sources. While striving for accuracy, I acknowledge the possibility of inadvertent discrepancies. I extend the assurance that any inaccuracies if detected, will be promptly rectified upon notification to the editor.
Manohar Bhai, an astute leader and visionary, left an indelible mark on the political landscape of Goa through his dedicated service and unwavering commitment to development. His journey from humble beginnings to becoming a revered statesman exemplifies resilience, integrity, and a deep-rooted passion for public service.
Early Life and Education
Born on December 13, 1955, in Mapusa, Goa, Manohar Parrikar grew up in a modest middle-class family. His academic brilliance was evident early on, graduating with a degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. Parrikar’s intellectual prowess and leadership skills were evident during his college years, foreshadowing his future in politics.
Entry into Politics
Manohar Bhai ventured into politics with a commitment to effect positive change. His entry into the political arena was marked by a deep-seated desire to serve the people of Goa. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during his youth, where he imbibed values of nationalism, discipline, and social responsibility, shaping his political ideologies.
His political journey gained momentum when he became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Parrikar’s pragmatic approach and dedication quickly propelled him through the party ranks.
Rise to Prominence
Parrikar’s ascent in Goa’s political realm was swift. He held various ministerial positions, showcasing his administrative acumen and commitment to good governance. His tenure as the Chief Minister of Goa, spanning multiple terms, was marked by transformative initiatives and inclusive policies.
Becoming the Defence Minister
Manohar Parrikar’s foray into national politics occurred when he was appointed as the Defence Minister of India in November 2014. His transition from Goa’s Chief Minister to the helm of the Defence Ministry marked a pivotal moment in his career.
As Defence Minister, Parrikar was instrumental in streamlining defense procurement, emphasizing the need for modernization and indigenous production of defense equipment. His tenure was characterized by efforts to bolster India’s defense capabilities, addressing long-standing issues in defense procurement, and promoting self-reliance in defense manufacturing through initiatives like ‘Make in India’ in the defense sector.
Visionary Leadership and Development Initiatives
Under Parrikar’s leadership, Goa witnessed a slew of developmental projects across various sectors:
- Roads and Connectivity: He prioritized the enhancement of road infrastructure, improving connectivity across the state. The remarkable Atal Setu was the brainchild of Manohar Bhai that stands tall on the Mandovi river solving the major problems of the traffic congestion.
- Water and Power: Initiatives were undertaken to ensure better access to water and uninterrupted power supply, crucial for Goa’s growth.
- Focus on Education: Parrikar emphasized the importance of education, implementing reforms to enhance the quality of schools and higher education institutions.
Governance and Transparency
- E-Governance Initiatives: He spearheaded initiatives to digitize governance, promoting transparency and efficiency in public services.
- Industrial Development: Initiatives were launched to attract investments and foster industrial growth, aiming to boost employment opportunities for the state’s youth.
Last Days and Legacy
Manohar bhai’s legacy extends far beyond his tenure as Goa’s Chief Minister. His pragmatic approach to governance, unwavering integrity, and dedication to public service continue to inspire both aspiring politicians and the general populace. His unfortunate demise in March 2019 was mourned across party lines, a testament to his widespread popularity and respect.
Manohar Bhai’s final days were marked by his unwavering commitment to duty despite battling a prolonged illness. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2018. Despite his health challenges, he continued to discharge his responsibilities to the best of his abilities and the completion of the Atal Setu is one of the most prominent amongst them all.
His demise on March 17, 2019, was met with widespread mourning and tributes from across the political spectrum. His legacy as a pragmatic leader, a beacon of integrity, and a visionary administrator endures in the hearts of the people of Goa and the nation at large.
This place is not sufficient for writing the story of the trmendiuous amount of work done by Manohar Bhai hence we will be concluding this story here with the final words in his respect. Despite the fact that Manohar Bhai not amongst us now he still remains an emblematic figure in Goa’s political history, and will always be remembered for his statesmanship, visionary leadership, and transformative initiatives that continue to shape the trajectory of the state’s development. His legacy serves as a guiding light for future leaders, emphasizing the importance of commitment, integrity, and relentless dedication to public welfare.