“उँचे पहाड़ पर पेड़ नही उगते, पौधे नही उगते, बस घास जमती है.”
If you happen to read through some of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poetry, it is sure to give you goosebumps and impart you with some wisdom. He has unarguably been one of the most efficient and respected Prime Ministers our country has witnessed. A fine orator, a voracious reader, a fearless poet and a true statesman, Atal Bihari Vajpayee lived his life working towards the dreams he had for the country.
“If India is not a secular nation, then India is not India at all.”
Vajpayee was among the founding members of the Bhartiya Jana Sangh which he restructured to Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in 1980. He was the first Prime Minister not belonging to the Indian National Congress to serve a full five-year term (1998-2004). In 2014, Vajpayee was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour by the President of India. In 2014, under the government of Narendra Modi, it was also declared that Vajpayee’s birthday, i.e. December 25 would be observed as the Good Governance Day.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speeches had the power to transform masses. Here is an oration that was delivered by Vajpayee in 1980 at BJP’S first national executive meeting. It will give you an insight into the nobleman that he was.
“This is the first national executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and I have been unanimously chosen as the President of this executive. May God give me the strength and courage to shoulder this responsibility. The position of the president of the BJP is not an ornament; it is not a position, but a responsibility. It is not an honour, but a test. It is not glory, but challenge.”
As we mourn the man today, let us also remember Vajpayee’s legacy and live by his noteworthy achievements.
A version of this post was first published here.