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REMEMBERING ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE JI


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“My poet’s heart gives me strength to face political problems, particularly those which have a bearing on my conscience.”


INTRODUCTION

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji was born on 25 December, 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Besides being one of the founding members of Bhartiya Jana Sangh (BJP) and active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), he was a great orator, politician and was respected beyond political lines.

He served as Prime Minister of India for three times. Briefly he served in 1996, 1988-89 and then for a full five term tenure between 1999 and 2004. During his tenure, Pokhran-II nuclear tests were carried out in Rajasthan in 1998 and the Kargil war between India and Pakistan broke out in the year 1999.

Due to prolonged illness, the veteran BJP passed away at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi. The year 2020 marks the 96th birth anniversary of Vajpayee Ji. Also in honor of him, the day is also celebrated as Good Governance Day.


ABOUT VAJPAYEE JI

Vajpayee Ji was born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee. He completed his secondary studies from Saraswati Shishu Mandir. Then he went to Laxmibai College (earlier known as Victoria College). He graduated with distinction in Hindi, Sanskrit and English.

It is interesting to note that Vajpayee Ji and his father studied law at the DAV College, Kanpur in the same class. Even they shared same room in the hostel. But after a period of time they were placed in different sections since there were a lot of talks which started to cook in the College.

He became the first non-congress PM to serve for full five year term. Due to his utmost love for the mother tongue, he gave a speech in Hindi at UN general assembly in 1977. He served as a external affairs minister of India at that time.

Known for his oratory skills and poetries, he wrote poems in Hindi like Aao phir se diya jalaaen, and Kaurav kaun, kaun Pandav, among others. He was also known as the good cook. He was designated as the head cook when he served in jail during emergency. His favorite dishes include Malpua, khichdi and kheer. Jawaharlal Nehru was his favorite leader. Favorite authors included Sarat Chandra Bose and Premchand. He did not marry his whole life but adopted a daughter named Namita Bhattacharya.

The former Prime Minister participated in Quit India Movement of 1942-45. He was also honored with the highest civilian award of India i.e. Bharat Ratna in the year 2015 from the then president late Pranab Mukherji.

Vajpayee Ji was a true patriot and the most loving and respectable politician of the state. His poetries were at par excellence and always showed the true spirit of patriotism. Not only Vajpayee Ji’s birthday is celebrated on 25th December, but also Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya and Nawaz Sharif’s birthday is on 25th December.

Vajpayee Ji was the editor of two monthlies- Rashtradharma and Panchjanya. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was started by him which was the largest education program ever started in the country. 2004 elections were the last elections fought by him. In these elections, Ram Jethmalani contested independently against him from Lucknow. Jethmalani Ji got support of Congress but still Vajpayee Ji won the elections.

Vajpayee Ji gave a maiden speech in Indian parliament, and then Jawaharlal Nehru Ji predicted that Vajpayee Ji someday will become the prime minister of India. And see how Nehru Ji’s words come true. He became the prime minister three times.

The true character of Vajpayee Ji gets reflected in the quotes which were basically the conversion of his thoughts into words.


Some of the quotes by him are presented as follows:


· “There can be no compromise regarding corruption.”

· “No guns but only brotherhood can resolve the problems.”

· “Terrorism has become a festering wound. It is an enemy of humanity.”

· “Empowering the individual means empowering the nation. And empowerment is best served through rapid economic growth with rapid social change.”

· “Our aim may be as high as the endless sky, but we should have a resolve in our minds to walk ahead, hand-in-hand, for victory will be ours.”

· “For development, peace is essential.”

· “We believe in equal respect for all faiths.”

· “Violence does not contribute to anything.”

· “Victory and defeat are a part of life, which are to be viewed with equanimity.”

· “In the euphoria after the Cold War, there was a misplaced notion that the UN could solve every problem anywhere.”

· “For me, power was never an attraction.”

· “If India is not secular, then India is not India at all.”

· “Quiet diplomacy is far more effective than public posturing.”

·“Our words, actions, and diplomatic efforts should be aimed at trying to achieve pragmatic goals rather than creating rhetorical effect.”


ABOUT GOVERNANCE DAY

On December 23, 2014, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji and Madan Mohan Malviya Ji were announced as the recipients of India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. After this, the Prime minister of India Narendra Modi Ji announced that this day will be celebrated as Good Governance Day in order to honor the former prime minister of India.

The day is celebrated to create awareness of accountability in government of Indians. This day has been declared as the working day for the government.

Once Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, “One day you may become an ex-prime minister, but you will never become an ex-poet”.


CONCLUSION

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji was an immortal soul who cannot be forgotten. To mark the 96th birth anniversary of Vajpayee Ji, this year a book is going to be launched titled-Vajpayee: The Years that Changed India”

This book flashes out the political philosophy of veteran BJP leader and gives an insider account how the late prime minister worked and thought. This book is penned down by Shakti Sinha. In his words- “Atal Bihari Vajpayee is fondly remembered today. People do not know how difficult it was for him to form a government in 1998 and run it.”


REFERENCES

1. DAILY HUNT, https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/east+coast+daily+eng-epaper-eeastco/atal+bihari+vajpayee+birth+anniversary+here+are+some+interesting+facts+about+our+former+pm-newsid-n155270010, (last visited Dec 23,2020)

2. THE INDIAN EXPRESS, https://indianexpress.com/article/parenting/learning/atal-bihari-vajpayee-facts-on-the-former-pm-for-kids-5310329/, (last visited Dec 23,2020)

3. NEWSD, https://newsd.in/good-governance-day-2020-date-history-objective-and-all-you-need-to-know/, (last visited Dec 24, 2020)

4. NEWSD, https://newsd.in/good-governance-day-2020-meaningful-quotes-by-atal-bihari-vajpayee/, (last visited Dec 24, 2020)

5. TIMES NOW NEWS, https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/atal-bihari-vajpayee-death-former-prime-minister-25-unknown-fascinating-facts/239071, (last visited Dec 24, 2020)



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