Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, The Bharat Ratna No More

The 10th Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee left the world for a better place on 16 August 2018. He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, which is the highest civilian award in India.

Poetry was his love…
And to the nation, he married.

जो कल थे,
वे आज नहीं हैं।
जो आज हैं,
वे कल नहीं होंगे।
होने, न होने का क्रम,
इसी तरह चलता रहेगा,
हम हैं, हम रहेंगे,
यह भ्रम भी सदा पलता रहेगा।
– यक्ष प्रश्न – अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
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No one is immortal in this world. Whoever has descended on the earth has to meet with the death.

But remember, no death can ever take over the spirit that fits into the high moral and raises the status of people. This was the kind of stature Former Prime Minister Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

He was the man of words. A great orator, a soft-spoken poet, lovable human being and an incredible leader of this country.

When I first heard about him, I was barely 10 year old curious kid. It was the year when the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear test followed by the 1999 Kargil war happened. This was the time when every house hold around is engrossed in discussing the fate of the country and its politics. They were scared because of the war conditions at the border and the fear of losing their loved ones. But they were also confident that they will get through this situation and the country will outshine again. This confidence was all because of then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji.

Looking back, I don’t have much memories of his time in power, his political agendas, strategies and victory but what I still remember is that everyone was in awe of him. I’ve had heard a few of his roaring speeches on television which were always supported by a prose, poem or quote of hope, emotions & motivation. He was not just a Prime Minister, he was definitely more than that. He selflessly served this nation for 60 years in best possible ways and in return received lots of respect, trust, and love from all.

It’s not just a position that he held but there’s something about him that people still love him and have strong faith in him. On the 16th of August at the age of 93, we lost him forever. Millions of people grieved and mourned to the demise of this great soul. We lost a visionary, an architect, a poet cum leader, a statesman of this nation.

Remembering him, his time, the time when he was roaring, the time when India was shining, the time when politics was one of the ways to serve the country and witness how he reformed and shape
this nation.

Born into the middle-class family on 25th December 1924, he hailed from a small town of MP. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s grandfather Shyamlal Vajpayee was a Sanskrit scholar and father Krishna Bihari Vajpayee was an established poet of Brajbhasha and Khariboli Hindi. A strongholdof literature was in his blood. Later, he also became a popular Kavi Sammelan poet. We can say “Poetry was his love and politics happened by chance”.

His youth was defined by academic excellence and his quest for public service when he was arrested for 23 days during the Quit India movement. Starting as an ordinary Karyakarta in the Jana Sangh, he formed the only true national-level party in independent India – the BJP – and managed its organization work after the passing away of Shri Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

Because of his impeccable oratorial skills and devotion toward the nation, Pandit Nehru once predicted that Vajpayee would someday become India’s Prime Minister and it did happen. Not just once, but thrice. He was the Prime Minister of India in 1996 for 13 days, 1998-1999 for 13 months and finally, for a full term from 1999 to 2004. He was the first Indian prime minister who was not a member of the Indian National Congress party to have served a full five-year term in office.

During his tenure as prime minister, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, becoming one of six countries than to possess nuclear weapons. He sought to improve diplomatic relations with Pakistan, traveling to Lahore by bus to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. After the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, he sought to restore relations through engaging with President Pervez Musharraf, inviting him to India for the Agra summit. Major economic reforms introduced by his government paved the way for high GDP growth over the next decade.

He was conferred India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015. The Modi government declared in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, 25 December, would be marked as Good Governance Day.

We won’t be getting a leader like Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji anytime soon. He was rarest of the rare.

Rest in peace, Mr. Prime Minister!

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