Patriot, the Poet, and Prime Minister – Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji was truly the man of the masses. His charismatic personality has been able to win over not only all the countrymen but even his oppositions. Known as the “Bhishma Pitamah” of Indian politics, Vajpayee’s statesmanship and his oratory skills impressed even his detractors.
Here are some interesting facts about the stalwart, that you need to know
Went To College With Father, Jail With Brother
Vajpayee and his father Krishna Bihari Vajpayee were classmates at Law College i.e. DAV College in Kanpur. The interesting thing is that this father-son duo even shared the same hostel room.
Like his father, even Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s brother was close to him. In 1942, both of them were jailed for 23 days for participating in the Quit India Movement against the British government.
Alongside Shyama Mookerjee, Vajpayee Batted For Indians’ Rights In Kashmir
Vajpayee became a close follower and aide to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the BJP’s predecessor during his protest against the ‘inferior’ treatment meted to Indians in Kashmir. Mookerjee’s fast and protest ended the identity card requirement and hastened the integration of Kashmir into the Indian Union. But soon Mookerjee lost his life, and Vajpayee took the baton from him.
Entry Into The Indian Parliament
Taking the baton from Mookerjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee contested for the first time from two constituencies- Mathura and Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, in the 2nd general Elections in 1957. He lost the Mathura seat to Raja Mahendra Pratap but won the Balrampur seat. He is the only parliamentarian to win from 6 Lok Sabha constituencies from 4 states. Balrampur (UP), Lucknow (UP), New Delhi, Vidisha (MP), Gwalior (MP), Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat). Vajpayee served the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, for 10 terms that began in 1957 and concluded in 2009. Vajpayee was the first head of government from outside the Congress party to serve a full five-year term.
As a Prime Minister Of India
After four decades in opposition, Vajpayee first became Prime Minister in 1996. But due to lack of numbers, the tenure lasted for only 13 days. The lack of a stable majority ended his second stint in power from 1998 after 13 months, when AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa withdrew her support from the coalition government.
Riding high on the success of the Kargil War, Vajpayee was re-elected in 1999 at the head of a more stable coalition that lasted its full term.
Connection With The City Of Taj – Agra
Bateshwar, a village in Agra District, on the banks of the river Yamuna, is the ancestral village of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. His grandfather, Pandit Shyam Lal Vajpayee, had migrated to Morena in Madhya Pradesh from Bateshwar.
Making India A Nuclear Power Country – CIA’s Biggest Frustration
Vajpayee and APJ Abdul Kalam scripted history by making India a nuclear state by conducting Pokhran tests with five bombs on May 13, 1998, which the CIA failed to detect. After the tests conducted by the Army, Atal Bihari Vajpayee called for a press conference to declare India as a full-fledged nuclear state.
It was CIA’s biggest failure, but our’s biggest victory.
Sada-e-Sarhad Bus – A Step To Mend Ties
To bring full-scale diplomatic peace process with Pakistan, Vajpayee hopped on the Sada-e-Sarhad bus to Lahore on 19 February 1999. His Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif came to the Wagah border to welcome him.
A Speech In UN That The World Remembered
Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the world by storm, when he as the External Affairs Minister in 1977, showed the world what a great orator he is, by giving a great speech at the UN General Assembly in Hindi.
Honored with some of the great awards in India, like Padma Vibhushana in 1992, the Best Parliamentarian award in 1994, President of India conferred India’s highest Civilian Award- Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence on 27 March 2015.
Started writing a poem from his childhood, Atalji was one of the best contemporary poets of our country. When he was in his 10th standard, he wrote his famous fiery poem “Hindu Tan Man, Hindu Jeevan, Rag Rag Hindu- Mera parichay”. One of his poem ‘Meri Ekyavan Kavitayen’ was critically acclaimed and is still loved by readers. He released 2 albums with Jagjit Singh featuring his poems Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002). He also gave BJP its soul-lines: ‘Andhera Chatega, Suraj Niklega, Kamal Khilega.’
On 16 August 2018 at 5:05 PM, the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics, faded into the infinity, at the age of 93. A sea of people at the Smriti Sthal in Central Delhi, on the banks of the Yamuna, bid a tearful farewell to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose mortal remains were consigned to the flames with full state honors on Friday 17th August 2018.
Widely respected as a statesman both within the country and abroad, he will always be the most beloved politician in India. He may have left us, But, his guidance, his poetries, his words and his thoughts will always remain alive in the heart of every Indian.
A salute from the Bottom Of My Heart to ‘BAAPJI – A True Bharat Ratna’
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Don’t forget to check out this post also: Mahatma Gandhi