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Man Of All Seasons, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bids Adieu

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Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee can be best described as ‘the man of all seasons’. Vajpayee was one of those few leaders who had seen all the eras of Indian politics, its ups and downs. Starting from the Nehru era, Vajpayee had witnessed all the colours of Indian polity during the last 70 years. He was elected as an MP from Balrampur (U.P.) in 1957, was jailed during 1975 Emergency, formed Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP), and later went on to form government thrice in the 90’s. And, that’s why he is ‘the man of all seasons’.

Vajpayee is not only remembered as first non-congress Prime Minister to complete a full five-year-term (1999-2004) but also as a political leader who was the face of opposition when the majority of the country part was under the Congress rule. Despite being small in number, he never took down the role of leader of the opposition. Bloomed in RSS and nurtured by Jan Sangh, he formed the BJP in 1980.

Jawaharlal Nehru once said told a foreign diplomat that he (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) would be the PM of the country one day. That assumption proved correct when Vajpayee took the office of PM in 1996 (for 13 days), then in 1998 (13 months) and then a full five-year term (1999-2004). Vajpayee always practised the friendly politics. He always respected the opposition when was in power, and he always questioned the government when in opposition. Samjhauta Express and Lahore Bus service was the result of his this friendly politics. It is because of his willpower that India achieved the status of Nuclear power despite being handling the pressure from superpower America. The victory in the Kargil war under his leadership forced the world to change their views for India. The journey of politics is never a smooth road for any politician.Each politician has his/her downside in the career. Babri Masjid demolition (1993), terrorist attack on Parliament (2001), the hijacking of IC 814 IN 1999 were the downside of his tenure. One thing is needed to be mention that decision taken by the government for the case of IC 814 was one of the most challenging and difficult ones as they had to choose between the captive Indians (who were on the hijacked flight IC 814) and the release of terrorist Masood Azhar. The former were saved, and the compromise was made by releasing Masood Azhar.

Witnessing every season of Indian polity, he announced his retirement from active politics in 2005. He was conferred with ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2014. On Thursday 16th August 2018 at 5.05 pm, he breathed his last and was cremated today at Smriti Sthal near to Rajghat at 4.30 pm. People poured their tribute to the beloved leader. One question many people raised that will be the most significant tribute that can be given to Vajpayee? To answer this question, it is necessary to look back at his speech which he gave when he resigned as PM as his government failed the No-Confidence motion. At that time he said, “Today, you are laughing on us because we have less number to run the government, but I tell you, a day will come when we will rule a maximum of the states.”
And nearly after 20 years of this statement, his words became true. Today, when he was being taken on his final journey on the roads of Delhi, maximum of the political leaders were from the states that are ruled by BJP. This was the greatest tribute to him as when he departed from the world, the majority of India is being governed under his BJP, and state Chief Ministers marched with him in his last journey on the roads of Delhi.

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  1. thug lifes

    Hi Frank! I want to tell you how much I appreciated your clearly written and thought-provoking article about Atal Ji.I look forward to reading your next informative work.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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