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Manohar Parrikar: The real common man

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Marqueur, Jan 22, 2014.

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  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    If you are a visitor to the sunny State of Goa, watch out! You might bump into the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a place you least expect. You might find him riding a humble scooter in a sleepy village somewhere or you might find him enjoying his chai at a simple, unpretentious cafe!

    A high level executive with a multi-national firm was once enjoying his dinner at a well known Chinese restaurant in Panaji, when he saw a familiar face walk in and occupy the next table without any fanfare. The executive could hardly believe his eyes. His subordinate confirmed that the person who strolled in nonchalantly, without any security was indeed the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar!

    In the often unscrupulous, showy world of Indian politics, where simplicity is just another catch phrase, a carefully constructed concept aimed at whitewashing a politician’s image, a leader like Manohar Parrikar is a rarity. Recently, at his son’s wedding, while all the guests were dressed in their finest, Manohar Parrikar continued to supervise the function dressed in his trademark half-sleeved shirt, creased trousers and simple, unpretentious footwear! Perhaps, it is due to his training as an engineer at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, that he is a hands-on man.

    Guests at the opening ceremony of IFFI 2004 still talk about the time when they saw him out on the road, getting hot and sweaty with the cops, directing traffic. The people of Goa adore their unassuming Chief Minister. When Manohar Parrikar assumed office as the Chief Minister of Goa for the third time after his historic electoral win in 2012, he broke away from tradition and decided hold a public swearing-in ceremony at the sprawling Campal grounds. At the end of the ceremony, he stood near the stage and greeted every single person who walked over to meet him.

    Before the election, Manohar Parrikar had embarked on an extensive Jan Sampark Abhiyaan. He toured the entire State in 15 electrifying days, visiting remote villages, meeting people from all walks of life, addressing corner meetings, camping overnight in the houses of ordinary party workers regardless of their backgrounds, sharing all meals with them. The ease with which he settled into the humble homes of party workers was remarkable. He kept up a punishing schedule of 18-20 hours every day, often wrapping up meetings as late as 2 am and starting his day again at 6.30 the next morning! These 15 days probably rewrote Goa’s destiny and changed Manohar Parrikar’s image forever in the hearts and minds of ordinary Goans.

    Giriraj Pai Vernekar, an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) with the CMO agrees that It is tough working for such a workaholic boss who puts in 16-18 hours of work on a regular basis! “I have been working with Manohar Parrikar as an OSD since April 2012. Once we were working on a proposal till midnight when the Chief Minister decided to call it a day,â€. When I asked him about the time I would need to come in the next day, he told me, “Oh, you can come a little late tomorrow, may be at 6.30 am! I landed at the CM’s residence at 6.15 the next morning, thinking I would be there to greet him when he comes in. To my surprise, I found him already in his office, pouring over the files!’ The CM was in his office by 5.15 am,†Giriraj Pai Vernekar said.

    Even today, at the age of 58, Manohar Parrikar starts his day around 5 am. He ponders over urgent letters and documents while he is at his residence and reaches office by 7 am every single day. He has converted the official residence of the Chief Minister into his office, while he continues to live in his own house, a modest apartment. His team members say that they have never ever seen their boss idle, even for a moment! He is either clearing a file, reading some work related document or meeting people! Members of his staff swear by him, because they know that he will always stand by them if he is convinced that they have done the right thing! It is this unshakeable faith in him that allows the people on his team to work with a free mind, without absolutely any political interference!

    Manohar Parrikar asks if Tarun Tejpal is a Congress stooge
    Video can watched on article link given below

    Manohar Parrikar is often criticised as ‘remote and strict’ by a section of the media. In his interviews, Manohar Parrikar often comes across as a no-nonsense person who does not mince his words. He is even accused of being arrogant. However, Manohar Parrikar’s human face was evident when Tourism Minister of Goa Matanhy Saldanha was admitted to the hospital following a massive cardiac arrest in the middle of the night, the Chief Minister rushed to hospital within minutes of receiving the news to be with the man who had stood by him under the most trying circumstances.

    In 2005, when Manohar Parrikar’s first Government was toppled by the unscrupulous Congress by indulging in crass horse trading, Matanhy Saldanha had stood firmly behind Manohar Parrikar. When certain other MLAs were happy to auction themselves to the highest bidder, Matahny Saldanha had refused to put a price tag on his conscience, knowing fully well that his actions might put his entire political career in jeopardy. While Matahny was fighting for his life, Manohar Parrikar kept an endless vigil by his bedside. When the doctors treating Matahny Saldanha advised Manohar Parrikar to go home and rest, he quipped, “When Matanhy has been with me all these years, how can I leave him at this time?†When Matanhy Saldanha tragically succumbed to the heart attack, Manohar Parrikar wept openly. Even today, he becomes emotional when he remembers Matanhy, a friend and a trusted Cabinet colleague.

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    Even his detractors dare not question Manohar Parrikar’s integrity. Once, during his public hour, a weekly scheduled time where the Chief Minister interacts personally with the Goan people, a lady walked in with her son and asked if he can be assigned a laptop. The boy was not eligible for the relevant Government scheme, but Manohar Parrikar remembered that he had met the lady during his Jansampark Yatra and he had spoken about the scheme in that meeting. He immediately made arrangements to handover a new laptop to the young boy, settling the bill from his personal account.

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    In the increasingly money driven world of Indian politics, Manohar Parrikar is something of an enigma! He always travels in economy class, pays for personal calls from his own pocket, takes taxis and travels by public transport like a regular person when he is visiting places outside Goa. Manohar Parrikar attributes his values to his childhood years with the RSS. He says he learnt discipline, progressiveness, gender equality, equality of all before the law, nationalism and social responsibility from the RSS. He was the first Chief Minister of any State in India with a degree from the IIT, though neither he nor his supporters like to harp on that fact repeatedly.


    A few people know that Manohar Parrikar’s entry into electoral politics was a reluctant one. He was asked by the BJP to contest election for the Lok Sabha in 1991, when the party was little more than a blip on the Goan political scene. It had managed to get just 0.41 per cent of the total votes in the last Lok Sabha elections. In a remarkable reversal of fortunes, just 10 years later, in October 2000, the BJP was in power in Goa and Manohar Parrikar was sworn in as the Chief Minister.

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    While the BJP supporters in the State were ecstatic, for Manohar Parrikar, this victory was tinged with deep sorrow. His wife Medha, who had always stood by him, had succumbed to cancer in 2000 after a long and painful battle with the disease. However, even a personal tragedy of such gargantuan proportions did not detract Manohar Parrikar from doing his job. A few people working with him at the time had an inkling of the inner emotional turmoil Manohar Parrikar was facing. He was now a single father of two young boys even as he was shouldering the responsibility of running the State. The credit goes to him for not letting tragedy impact his performance as the Chief Minister. His first term as the Chief Minister of Goa is still remembered for its excellent administration and good governance.

    In a political scene beset by scams and scandals, here is a highly educated Chief Minister, who considers character to be the most important aspect that makes a good leader! Words like simplicity, honesty, integrity have been reduced to mere poll slogans by many Indian political parties and leaders, but for Manohar Parrikar, these three words define his very way of life!

    Manohar Parrikar: The real common man | Niti Central
     
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  2. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    This guy is refreshing as a personal example. Another CM is Manik Sarkar.
     
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