Manohar Parrikar, Goa's chief minister and India's former defence minister, succumbs to pancreatic cancer at the age of 63

Manohar Parrikar, Goa's chief minister and India's former defence minister, succumbs to pancreatic cancer at the age of 63
  • Parrikar was known for being a efficient administrator, a straight politician who led a simple life, as well as a Hindu hardliner who promoted the cause of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during his entire career
  • He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, but he returned to work and even presented the budget for the state of Goa on January 30, 2019.
  • He was the chief minister of Goa for three terms and the country's defence minister from 2014 to 2017.
  • He was the first alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology to become a state legislator.
India's Former Defence Minister and current chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, passed away at the age of 63 years after suffering from a pancreatic cancer since February 2018.

He was treated in different hospitals in Mumbai, Goa, Delhi and even in the US. He returned to work briefly in December last year and even presented Goa's state budget on January 30.

He has been the chief minister of Goa for three terms- from 2000 to 2005, from 2012 to 2014, and most recently, since March 2017. Parrikar served as the defence minister of India between 2014 and 2017 during which he opened investigations into alleged corruption in past defence deals including the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) decision to buy AgustaWestland choppers.

He was also at the centre of a controversy over the current government's decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault. However, the federal auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, gave a clean chit to the deal in February 2019.

Born in Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar went on to graduate in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) in 1978. He was the first IIT alumnus to serve as a member of legislative assembly.

Parrikar cut his teeth at the Hindu right-wing organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, early in his life and was one of the key organisers of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the early 1990s. The RSS is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has been in power since 2014 and will be seeking re-election in the upcoming summer.

In his lifetime, Parrikar earned the reputation for leading a restrained, simple life, being an astute politician, fast decision maker and an efficient administrator. He also was attacked for his political ideology, which was shaped by the early grooming at RSS that promotes a majoritarian view that glorifies Hindu traditions, and denounces any additional sops for social or religious minorities irrespective of their status.