A teacher’s tribute to a student: Parrikar’s death is a personal loss

Bhubaneswar: Expressing shock over former Defence Minister and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s untimely demise, Prasanta Kumar Patnaik, who was his teacher at IIT Bombay & currently settled in Bhubaneswar, said it’s a major personal loss to him.

Parrikar had last visited Odisha in 2016 to attend BJP’s Vikas Utsav in Cuttack and also held a meeting with the intellectuals. But amid his busy schedule, Parrikar did not forget to meet his teacher, Prasanta Patnaik, which the latter described as a treasure for him.

Patnaik said, “He (Parrikar) was a disciplined student and a very original thinker. The leader started his socio-political activity in IIT Bombay itself by taking up the underpaid issue of mess workers. He argued while everyone else is getting salary for 12 months, why the mess workers would get wages for eight months. Even students of M.Tech and Ph.D courses were his followers.”

“After graduating from the IIT Bombay, Parrikar started his own industry. As anyone representing the people must have his own profession, Parrikar had his means of earning. He had his own money unlike some great public leaders living with public money,” Patnaik added.

Patnaik’s wife Supriya had presented a Gita to the former Defence Minister during his visit in 2016. Remembering the humbleness of Parrikar, she said, “The leader was very amicable. I am deeply pained with his demise.”

The BJP stalwart passed away on Sunday at his private residence in Panaji, Goa after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.