Modi government recognized the distinguished qualities of Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee by awarding him Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. As the aged and ailing Ex-PM cannot come to receive the award, President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi went to his residence to hand over the Bharat Ratna to him. It is difficult to describe his achievements briefly.

Sri Vajpayee is a great political personality loved and admired by all. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a great leader known for his integrity and love for the nation. It is a great pleasure for him to see his worthy follower, Sri Narendra Modi, receive a huge mandate to rule India. As PM of NDA he had compromise with his irrational demands of his coalition partner. He is acceptable across all political parties. The party began in hands of Vajpayeeji as Bharatiya Jan Sangh which later became BJP.

Mr. Vajpayee is a gifted orator par excellence. He had taken bold initiatives, for bridging the gap between India and Pakistan. He is regarded as a statesman, poet and politician. He took initiative to go beyond political manifesto of BJP for the sake of the nation.

Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Sri Vajpayee became PM of India for a brief period in 1993 and later formed a coalition government at center in 1998. He was treated as an outcaste for his views of supporting the rightist. It grew worse when Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. Sri Vajpayee was regarded as a mask of RSS. But he followed the moderate path of Raj dharma and did not highlight the connection between BJP and prominent Hindu groups.

Sri Vajpayee was not disturbed by BJP party members. Some members blamed him of a misleading visit to Pakistan in 1999. He is undoubtedly the longest serving prime minister in India outside Congress. He took the bus towards Lahore.

Sri Vajpayee is noted for his great diplomacy. He marked the beginning of new age of Indo-Pak relations. He became the first Prime Minister in 1996 after four decades in opposition, He was in opposition for 4 decades, Unfortunately he had worked for only 13 days as prime minister. He was short of majority in the house.

Due to lack of majority, Sri Vajpayee completed his second phase in power for 13 months in 1998. His government broke down when AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha took off her support in the government formed by coalition. He got back to power in 1999 . He became the leader of a stable coalition for full five years.

Sri Vajpayee is respected like Jawaharlal Nehru within India and abroad. In 1998-99, Vajpayee tenure as a prime minister was marked by his convincing leadership like Sri Narendra Modi. India successfully conducted several nuclear tests at Pokhran during his regime on May 1998.

Sri Vajpayee had aimed to improve India’s relations with Pakistan. It all began when he acted as Foreign Minister in the Morarji Desai Government during late seventies.

Unfortunately, Lahore peace treaty failed. Then the Agra summit with General Pervez Musharraf in 2001 did not succeed. The destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was a landmark incident. It was demolished by kar sewaks on December 6, 1992. At that time, he acted as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. This was a crucial test for Vajpayee. He supported secularism.

L K Advani was a close associate of Sri Vajpayee, Majority of BJP politicians approved the demolition. Sri Vajpayee protested the attack vehemently.

Sri Vajpayee spent some time in jail as a teenager. He worked as a freedom fighter. He opposed British colonial rule but did not play any significant role in the freedom movement. Then he chose to support the Hindu nationalist RSS and the Jan Sangh. Sri Vajpayee did not complete his law education. He ran an RSS magazine in the early 1950s.

Vajpayee became a supporter of Sri Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. He started his own political party named named Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS). He started fast-unto-death in Kashmir to protest against the administrative system of infiltration

The fast and protest of Mr.Mookherjee helped solve the identity card crisis. It helped in the development of Kashmir. The state got the Indian Union. These events were unforgettable for Vajpayee at young age.

Vajpayee got success in his first election held on Parliament in 1957. He became a leader of BJS. He gained popularity by spreading his agenda and promoted his organization . He became popular as a leader of opposition for his logic and intelligence. His popularity had helped him achieve recognition. He became a pioneer of nationalist cultural movement.

Sri Vajpayee is a bachelor and a well known poet. A dedicated soul like him truly deserves the Bharat Ratna award. Another dedicated PM who follows his footprint is Narendra Modi. A jeweller only knows the true worth of jewel.



Contributor: Pratanu Banerjee