Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • Next to Nehru if we had to name one person who rendered selfless service and showed utmost simplicity, it would be Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Till date he is unequalled by the peers of his party, in terms of civilised and simple behavior.
  • In 1977, under BJP’s rule, Vajpayee became the Minister of External Affairs. Due to change of rule, the office staff had removed Nehru’s photo from his office, Vajpayee did not like this act. He made sure that the photo was reinstated in the same place it was previously. The reason he gave is ‘Nehru is the first prime minister of India. How can you remove the picture of a person who holds such a high honour?’
  • Vajpayee is one of the noteworthy politicians with a long political career and remarkable experience. He entered politics at a very young age. He was just 33 when he became a Member of the Parliament. He has been elected as an MP for more than 10 times.
  • Even when he attacked the philosophy of Congress, he never uttered even a word of disrespect at any of the Congress Leaders. He addressed everyone from Narasimha Rao to Sonia Gandhi respectfully. This is not a common quality in political leaders and this is what sets him apart from his peers.
  • His name holds a special place in our country’s development. The schemes and plans implemented during his term include the National Highways Development Project and ‘Pradhaan Manthri Graam Sadak Yojana’. Both these schemes focused on bettering logistics and connectivity.
  • He is also credited for his contributions in strengthening India’s defence with nuclear power. He gave Abdul Kalam full freedom in this nuclear project and tested the first nuclear weapon on Pokhran desert in Rajasthan. This effort of his to improve our country’s defence is lauded for by many.
  • India is a country composed of many states. In such a country, coalitions hold high political relevance. His handling of different coalitions with different ideologies, during his 1999-2004 term is a great example of how to handle such diverse coalitions.
  • It is a common saying that there are no permanent friends or enemies for a politician. The friendship of Vajpayee and Advani broke this stereotype. From starting a political party, rising to the position of opposition party, to becoming the ruling party, they shared a special bond that has seen quite a vivid timeline.
  • He left the mortal world in 2018. He did not hold any post in the Government when he left us. In fact he hasn’t been in the political arena for more than 15 years. All that did not factor in when he passed away. People mourned and cried on hearing about his demise. His last rites were performed on a large scale. Truly he is a ‘People’s Leader.’