Goa CM flies the way you and I do

RAJEN GARABADU, NEW DELHI | 16 April 2012 17:50 IST

While returning to Delhi from Goa yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find the chief minister of Goa, BJP's Manohar Parrikar, on the same flight.

No, this isn't the first time I was on board with a CM, a senior minister or a politician.

But what I saw - right from the time he boarded the aircraft till the moment he exited the airport building at New Delhi - impressed me so much that it has stayed with me till now and has made me write this piece.

I tried to remember when was the last time I saw a CM or a senior political leader of Mr Parrikar's stature queuing up like a common man to board a flight.

No flunkeys, no security, no attendant, carrying his own luggage - and he was flying economy on a low-cost carrier, not first-class on a full services airline.

He wasn't the last to enter the flight nor was the flight held up for him to arrive.

He walked in to the Go Air aircraft like any average passenger, almost unnoticed, and well in time. Like everyone else, he queued at the gate, boarded the bus, and climbed into the plane when his turn came. He didn't sit in the first row which has become the exclusive preserve of the high and mighty on flights that have no first class.

He quietly slipped into row three (or was it row four) and sat there without any fuss. I think most people on the aircraft didn't realise who he was and therefore no attempt was made to mob him or try and catch his attention.

The cabin crew spent no more time attending to him than they did to any other passenger.

When I shared this with a colleague who was travelling with me, he said, "I am sure the airline would have left the seat next to him unoccupied or his office would have booked two seats so that he is not disturbed."

But when I went to attend to nature's call, I realised on my way back that this was not the case. All seats in his row were occupied and absolutely no special privilege seemed to have either been demanded or offered. Yes, he did have an aisle seat - as did two people in every row.

When the flight landed in Delhi, he wasn't the first to get off it. Usually, it is only when the VIP is ushered into a special car waiting for him at the tarmac (with a suitable red light mounted on the roof of the car), that the other passengers are allowed to deplane.

In this case, neither was he the first to disembark, nor was there a car waiting. Nobody came to receive him on the tarmac and he boarded the same bus which took all other passengers to the airport terminal.

Again, he carried his own luggage (two pieces) right up to the car which came to fetch him.

While in the bus, a couple of co-passengers did recognise him and began to chat with him. The conversation which followed left me in no doubt that he was not just a gentleman but very understated in his demeanour.

Dressed in a simple but formal shirt and trousers and black sandals, he didn't look or sound like a typical politician.

Having worked in the news business for a while, I did know that he is the first IIT-ian to head a state government in India. I had also heard that he was trying to clean up the murky world of Goa politics.

But what I observed first-hand left me pleasantly surprised.

I am not a resident of Goa and therefore not in a position to cast my vote for Mr Parrikar - in a political sense. But purely from a personal standpoint, he has my vote for the kind of person he seems to be.

(Rajen Garabadu is the Chief Executive Producer at CNN-IBN & his blog at http://ibnlive.in.com/ is reproduced here.  http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/rajengarabadu/707/63384/goa-cm-flies-the-way-you-and-i-do.html)

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Previous Comments




- ARUN BHOMKAR, BHOMA | 29 th October 2012 16:07


Thank you Mr.Rajen for sharing this with us. We hope, the Congress crooks in Goa who have spent crores of Rupees on such travels & otherwise are brought to justice & put behind bars. Every time Sonia wants to shit, our Congress politicians go to Delhi to wash her off.

- Prakash, Kuwait | 23 rd April 2012 16:24


Thank you for taking your precious time in writing this article.

The only politician i really salute is


I respect him because i know from deep in my heart that he is not like the others

He is the true choice a peoples choice

Whatever he has done and has been doing is for the betterment of goa and i really support him on this

Thank you my friend for this article and i suppose if the rest of the politicians take a note of this than we will have not to go outside India to work for the betterment of their economies but to stay here and make India the number one country.

- cletus, margao | 22 nd April 2012 21:14


Why would this not make it to the headlines of newspapers like TOI, Hindu.. we all know why..

Regardless, I was so so so so happy because this came to me through an email forwarded to me by a dear friend and I made sure that I have forwarded this to as many as possible on my e-mailing list (thank God for the internet, else we would have NEVER known about this).

Dr. Sivaram Hariharan

- Dr. Sivaram Hariharan, Coimbatore PSG College of Pharmacy | 22 nd April 2012 08:43


The best thing about Mr. Parrikar's approach is he does not do this for the sake of publicity. He lives an austere down to earth life everyday.

A number of other political biggies in India have publicised their Austerity drives. They find more of a need to publicise it because they don't live austere by an means everyday, so they want to get maximum mileage out of it. They travel by Rail with a bunch of Media and Security personnel only to return by Elite Class and end up spending more public money for no purpose other than publicity.

Whereas in this case it is personal independent reporting of this Man's daily Lifestyle. There was no kind of a media hype around this.

Hats off to Mr. Parrikar who is making Goa proud.

- Amrish Khanolkar, New Zealand | 21 st April 2012 03:35


I am much impressed with the story of a fellow-IIT'an and how well he is doing. I am proud of him even if I don't know him, but I know my brother taught him in IIT and seems to have a very good impression of him. Needless to say, all IIT graduates need to be proud of this fellow. He seems to be one in a million in Indian politics who does not misuse and abuse power. India even functions as much today as it does due to people like him. But unfortunately he is more of an exception rather than the rule. I wish him all the good luck and fortunel and hope he goes far and even becomes prime minister of India one day. We need more idealistic people like him. God bless him.

- Manmohan Pejavar, Cupertino, California, USA | 20 th April 2012 02:56


Thanks for sharing. This should be the norm and not the exception.

I have shared weekly flights with Charles Kennedy, then President of the Lib-Dem party in UK. (his equivalent is deputy-PM of UK now) He cleared security just like me, and I never saw anybody giving him special treatment, even though we boarded from a small place where he was well known.

- Hesh, UK | 18 th April 2012 04:07


well I do hope that this e-mail is read by those politician's who spend public fund's by thinking they are lords'.

Cheer's for Mr. Parikar, god bless him to good and save Goa from evil.

- xavier fernandes, navelim | 17 th April 2012 23:57


Mr Mohan from London... A CM of a state does not have so much free time to travel to Delhi from Goa by Bus or on bare foot.......

We are more fortunate to have a Cm like Mr. Parrikar... I'm proud of him...

- Prasanna Shigaonkar, Singapore | 17 th April 2012 18:09


A lesson to entire political regime.

Thanks to Mr. Rajen Garabadu for putting forth his observations as wel as to Mr. Sandesh Prabhudesai for carrying it on his news portal.

- Anjali Sushil, Kuwait | 17 th April 2012 00:00


Like u are one of the unlucky people who couldn't caste a vote to Mr. Parrikar, I too couldn't. I am based in Pune for professional reasons. When there were elections i wanted to go to Goa for casting my vote but couldn't due to some reasons. But I am glad that he unanimously got selected as CM of Goa. I am a die hard fan of him.

He is the most dynamic CM Goa could ever have.

- Tanmay Pai Kane, Pune | 16 th April 2012 22:02


The common man does not fly

He is barely able to afford a train ticket

It is usually a cramped ,crowded bus or his good old legs



- Mohan, London | 16 th April 2012 20:39


It is good to read that Goa`s C.M. Mrr PArrikar lives by example.THis is unlike the Congress theives , that have not looted the Goan Ex-chequer,but maximised all the benefits and perks available to them.Such an example by the CM will surely endow him to the people of Goa.Congress MLA`s were well known to demand First Class tickets and other previledges,including VIP and security treatments.Ex CM Digamber Kamat was possibly the worst offender,followeed by Ravi Naik and Churchill Alemao.Churchill Alemao does things only, to gloriify himself and his family members.He is well known for self-aggrandisment.His mission statement to everyone is "LOOK AT HOW GREAT AND POWERFUL I AM".Luckily for Goa and Goans , his days are now numbered.He will slowly descend into his pathologic state and legacy of criminality and thereafter into Political obscurity.Digamber Kamat`s trips to New Delhi ,even for the most pettiest reasons, are well known.Digamber has probably flown and collected more air-miles ,than the President and Primie Minister of India combined.He was bodily in Goa , mentally in New Delhi and spiritually in Limbo.He was unable to make decisions for Goa and Goans in Goa.He had to fly to New Delhi,for a fix.

Going by Mr Parrikars decisions taken since the 6th Of March (election results),he has acheived far more in 40 days ,than Digamber Kamat has acheived in 1825 days(approx 5 years)as CM of Goa.Digamber Kamat and his motley crew of looters, criminals and uneducated & visionless Congress MLA`s,have destroyed Goa far more than a Tsunami will.we Goans now pray , that all this involved into criminality will be brought to justice and accountability."Top dogs" to be apprehended, must be Churchill & Joaquim Alemao, Ravi Naik and Babush & Jennifer Monseratte and Mauvin Godinho.

- N.Fernandes, London | 16 th April 2012 19:44


Good story. All local news papers should carry it tomorrow.

- Manoj Kamat, Goa | 16 th April 2012 18:54


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