How would you like to remember Manohar Parrikar?
A symbol of life, that’s how.
Till the very end, I did not believe it. I saw the tweet from the Goa Chief Minister’s office about the critical condition of the CM, but I kept assuming he would come out of it. Medical science is really amazing these days and I thought they would come up with something or another.
It was not to be.
Death comes to all. But very few are remembered. So I am not going to talk about his death. I am going to talk about his life.
In early 2016, the Defense Ministry was facing a problem with its budget numbers not seeming to add up.
Was that a scam? No! Ironically, the ‘problem’ was not overspending, but underspending!
It seemed like the Defense Ministry was not spending all the money allocated to it but continuing with all planned expenses nevertheless.
What was happening? Where was extra money coming from? Was it falling from the sky?
That’s when Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar revealed that he had found $3 billion (or Rs 20,000 crore) of Govt of India money lying forgotten in a US account.
And he had used that old money to pay off some of our Defense expenses.
Folks, this is how UPA used to run our country. They ‘forgot’ $3 billion lying somewhere. After all, it wasn’t their money. Privileged Shehzadas brought up in royal families rarely have respect for other people’s money.
But a self-made IITian Chief Minister does.
This was Modi Government’s first ‘reverse scam’. The Govt finding money instead of losing it. What a change from the days of Rs 4000 paid by the govt for each roll of toilet paper during the Commonwealth Games!
And what did Manohar Parrikar do with the money he found? He started applying it towards India’s defence purchases. It helped that the money was already in USD instead of Rupees: that meant we could even save on the exchange rate and various forex related commissions.
He is no more. We miss him.
So many wonderful tributes have been paid to him.
I just thought I would remind people of the time he found our forgotten money and used it to pay for the defence of our country.
We will never forget you, sir.