Simple Living and High Thinking–Lessons from Manohar Parrikar


Arjun Ram Meghwal

The sad demise of Manohar Parrikar has shocked the nation. Over the entire life, his aura has continuously spread the inspiration for everyone. His workaholic nature and zeal to serve the people even during the ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer stolen people’s all love, adoration, and respect for him.

There is JOSH and I am fully in HOSH..

History will judge him as the most distinguished defence Minister. In September 2016, Indian Forces conducted “surgical strike”to destroy terror Launch pads, the long pending demand of armed forces One Rank-One Pension (OROP)& key policy initiatives including hiking FDI in defence manufacturing implemented under his able leadership. His recent Budget day appearance in Goa assembly with a feeder tube inserted in one of his nostrils is continuously creating goosebumps to public. On January 30, during the presentation of Goa budget, he said:  “There is JOSH and I am fully in HOSH. Today, once again I promise that I will serve Goa with sincerity, integrity, and dedication until my last breath.” His attitude towards continuous struggle with cancer has also remarkable as he tweeted a brave message on world cancer day on February 4, 2019 “Human mind can overcome any disease. #WorldCancerDay”.

Simple living and High thinking

Simple living and High thinking was core principle of his life. Graduated from IIT Mumbai, technocrat turned politician Mr. Parrikar had always clarity of thought and vision for public service. These qualities are clearly expressed in his file noting and clear comments made therein to amicably solve the various bureaucratic hurdles. Combination of these qualities and his art to expedite decision making process led to implementation of NDA’s vision of minimum government and maximum governance. In 2012,during official visit to Goa, I wanted to meet CM Manohar Parrikar. I reached his residence at late night and told that he is about to return home. After a few minutes, I surprised to look at the simplicity of Chief Minister as he returned home by self-driving scooter. I was deeply overwhelmed with humble meeting. It had left indelible print to my consciousness. He stood a class apart from the most political leaders of his generation. As Parrikar Ji travelled towards the last leg of an inspirational life, his charismatic and unimpeachablepersonality has become a stronger and larger source of energy and positivity for everyone.

The man of principles

Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar

At the time when the country was plagued with scams of UPA dispensation and anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare was at the peak, the public has questioned and largely blamed the all political fraternity for corruption. The corruption and politician were presented as synonyms. During the upcoming General election of 2014, corruption had emerged as an important issue and NDA included the agenda of corruption-free governance under the leadership of Narendra Modi and assured for good governance and corruption-free administration by systematically moving ahead towards it. NDA won the general election and Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi took the responsibility to remove the black spot of corruption from governance at all levels. As the saying goes that “Honesty is the best policy”, PM Narendra Modi applying the same policy, invited the man of principles Mr. Manohar Parrikar to join the Union Cabinet.

The most honest politician

Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar

India Today group conducted a rational survey in 2016 to bring out the gems of clean and transparent politics in the public domain. The survey was conducted among present and former Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly and Ministers to ascertain their integrity, honesty, and transparency in public domain. The parameter to measure this intangible quality were related to living the life on simplistic terms and on minimalistic needs, the scale of courtesy and simplicity in behaviours of their personal staffs as well as of family members among others.

When the result for the survey brought out in public domain, Manohar Parrikar then Defence Minister clinched the first position in the survey by becoming the most honest politician. The public accepted the result of the survey with hunky dory. The people from every stratum were satisfied with the rationality and result of survey which brought out total five honest politicians belonging to different political ideologies. On 2nd July 2016, I again visited Ministry of Defence and congratulated him.While elaborating about his journey of honesty and integrity, he said “Arjun Ji, Honesty is best Policy, but it is very difficult to make it sustainable in public life for longer duration. If you are able to maintain it, its fruits will have ample power for betterment of society”. The instance related to CM Parrikar driving scooter, His wife buying vegetables from the local markets, preferring regular flights instead of charters for official assignments and such other qualities personified the simplistic and true statesmanship in him.

An iconic inspiration to thousands of individuals

In the time of thought conflict between the two ideas of negative & positive politics, His spirit, disciplined approach, humble attitude and optimism surpassed the surrounding pessimism of public life corruption and selfishness of political leaders. Testimony to this fact is that coming from a small state Goa, he became the pragmatic example of the most honest national level political leader.  The public life of Manohar Parrikar is an iconic inspiration to thousands of individuals who strive to practice transparency and honesty in public life. He has shown the new direction to the existing and next-generation politicians by providing an important platform and that too at a very crucial time.


Tribute to someone in the real sense is the propagation of the ideas, thoughts, and actions on which he/she had lived life. Manohar Parrikar’s public life with characteristics of impeccable integrity, simple living & high thinking, dedication, honesty, and hard work emerged as an iconic inspiration for everyone. He had always believed in pro-active but clean politics. Not only he has preached the principals of honesty, simplicity, and transparency in public life but his practices of these principles had ensured the rebirth of politician’s honesty in people’s mind. He took beacon for league of honest & selfless politicians and tried to spread its light all over the journey of his life. Now propagation of his principals of honesty and transparency in public life by including them in public discourse will be a tribute in a true sense to the departed soul. While proposing the message of simplicity, honesty, and integrity for political leaders, the life and deeds of Manohar Parrikar echoes the famous couplet of Ahmad Faraz for upcoming generations…



‘’अभी तो जाग रहे हैं चिराग़ राहों के
अभी है दूर सहर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो’’

Arjun Ram Meghwal

The author is Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development, Ganga Rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs.