India’s 10th Prime minister, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee left for heavenly abode today at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 93 years of age. He was admitted in AIIMS on 11.06.2018 following respiratory and kidney problems. His condition began to deteriorate since last 48 hours and he was put on advance life support systems. An official statement from the premier medical institute said ““It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 05:05pm on 16.08.2018,”.
The veteran Politician was also a published poet and writer. His active political career lasted from 1975-1995. Vajpayee was among the founding members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh which he also headed from 1968 to 1972. He became the first Non-Congress Union Cabinet Minister, External Affairs in the year 1977. To the nation’s pride, that year Vajpayee became the first person to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi.
Vajpayee was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister of India in the year 1996. But it lasted for only 13 days, since he could not garner a majority. His second term as Prime minister lasted for 13 months, from 1998-1999. Though during this short span of time as well, the Vajpayee government could conduct the daring operation “Pokhran ll” and showcased India’s nuclear strength to the world. Not only this, India also won the Operation Vijay-Kargil war, under his diplomatic flagship. It was only in the next general elections of 1999 that BJP gained full majority and A B Vajpayee became our Prime Minister for the third time and served the country with a complete five-year term. During his administration, Vajpayee introduced many domestic economic and infrastructural reforms. His major projects were the National Highways Development Project and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. He retired from politics in the year 2005.
Atal ji, as he was popularly known, was conferred with Bharat Ratna in the year 2015, apart from Outstanding Parliamentarian Award (1994), Padma Vibhushan (1992) and many other National and International awards.
Atal Ji was an orator of excellence. Whenever he got onto the stage, his words were heard and acknowledged even by his opponents. A wordsmith, as he was often called, could play with words but always maintained the dignity and measured each and every word he spoke. His comments and satires will be remembered by all, both within the political circle and outside. There would hardly be anyone who has heard his speeches and does not remember his ‘ye achi baat nahi hai’ style.
Vajpayee was referred to as the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a speech in the Rajya Sabha, a reference to a mythological figure in the Hindu epic Mahabharata who was held in respect by two warring sides.
Truly , the Indian Politics and Bharat Varsha has lost the Bishma Pitamah , the guiding light for our leaders and the nation as a whole.
Atal Ji- you will be remembered forever and ever.