Bhai to All Goans, Elder Brother to Me: Nitin Gokhale's Heartfelt Goodbye To Manohar Parrikar
Parrikar and Gokhale shared a relationship which went beyond the personal and professional domain. For Gokhale, Parrikar was not only his defence minister.
News18 creative by Mir Suhail.
New Delhi: In what could be termed a rightful dedication to a tall leader, national security analyst and author Nitin Gokhale in a heartfelt blog post recalled his interactions with Manohar Parrikar to bid his final goodbye to the Goa CM.
“Parrikar knew how to extract the best out of a diverse set of people. He was loved, respected and followed blindly by Goans for over two decades. He had his faults of course. For one, he hated to decentralise or delegate. Calling him control freak would be an exaggeration but because he was a perfectionist, Parrikar preferred to do most of the work himself,” Gokhale wrote.
Gokhale and Parrikar first met in 2015 after the former defence minister had randomly called Gokhale to seek a “fresh approach” in how the Ministry of Defence (MoD) must function. At that point, Parrikar was a newcomer in South Block, having entered Lutyens’ Delhi in late 2014.
Couldn’t get over Parrikar’s passing away. So did what know a best: Write. Travel well my friend. https://t.co/YV82xUjbuQ— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) March 18, 2019
Ever since that first conversation, which Gokhale said “began with a misunderstanding”, the two had shared a relationship that transgressed personal and professional roles.
In the blog post, Gokhale said Parrikar often called him for “new information and fresh insight”.
For instance, “One day, Parrikar said he wanted to revise the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)” and hoped to get details on experts who could help, Gokhale recalled.
Parrikar and Gokhale often spent evenings together sharing a book or a beer at the former defence minister’s residence at 10 Akbar Road.
“When Parrikar felt he had to unwind, he would suddenly call and ask if I was in Delhi and free. If I said yes, he would ask me to request my wife to cook simple, home-made fish curry and rice and tell me to keep a couple of bottles of beer in the refrigerator before he arrived,” said Gokhale.
India’s defence minister was a friend, brother and professional aide to Gokhale.
“I am an emotional jumble at the moment but even when I look back after some months, I am sure I will feel the same way about Parrikar—Bhai to everyone in Goa, but like an elder brother to me in the two years that I got to know him so closely in Delhi,” he added.
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