Atal Bihari Vajpayee – the son of India assumed the reign of the country as a former Prime Minister and accomplished great heights of success. He is often described as the moderate face of BJP. A charismatic Vajpayee is an iconic leader and one of the founder members of the governing party, BJP. He was a poet, great orator, statesman and an eminent leader of all times. Today the country celebrates his 95th birthday, in his absentia following his demise on 16th August 2018.
Born on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior, he was briefly jailed for opposing British colonial rule as a teenager. He flirted with communism before deciding to join RSS and Jan Sangh.
His political involvement started as a freedom fighter in the Quit India Movement. He became a close follower of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and remained by his side all his life. He took the baton of the party (Jan Sangh later renamed as BJP) and won his first election in 1957(from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh). He served the lower house for 10 terms (1957-2009). This iconic leader assumed majority power and became Prime Minister 3 times – in 1996 for 13 days (he became Prime Minister in 1996 after four decades in opposition), in 1998 for 13 months and in 1999 he was re-elected after the success of Kargil war and served a full tenure as the commander (PM) of nation. He was the first non-Congress leader to serve a complete tenure as PM. During his term as caretaker Prime Minister (1998), he dealt with the Kargil war.
Vajpayee’s diplomatic breakthrough hailed as the dawn of a new era in Indo-Pak relations after the Kargil War. He started a bus service from Delhi to Lahore in order to normalize relations between the two neighbouring countries. As his parliamentary career flourished, Mr. Vajpayee made a name for himself as an orator and for his poetic flourishes. His poetry, collated in his book Meri Ekyaavan Kavitayein (My 51 Poems) reflects it. The poet turned politician has many achievements in his kitty such as the successful nuclear Pokharan-2 test, triumph at Kargil, starting of the Golden Quadrilateral national expressway, a growth rate of 5 percent or above per annum inter alia. He formulated some exemplary national policies such as Kisan Credit Card and conducive foreign relations with the U.S.A. and China.
Among the glorious chapters from his life is the historic speech that Vajpayee gave at the United Nations General Assembly in 1977 in Hindi. He was the first politician to speak in Hindi in the U.N.G.A. Despite being equally fluent in English, he deliberately chose to speak in his mother tongue, thereby highlighting our language at the international level. He made the aspirations of India perfectly clear with his outstanding speech.
GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY
The country mourns the absence of a great leader who has left his legacy of good decisions behind him for the perusal of all coming generations. In 2014, the Narendra Modi led BJP government designated his birthday as “GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY”. Good Governance means a government based on development orientation, transparency and early and easy deliverance of results to the public. Vajpayee strived for all these throughout his tenure. Observing a Good Governance Day at his birthday is a commemoration of his lifelong service. Moreover, observing Good Governance Day will continuously remind the government that the governing party should be impartial, development-oriented and development should cover all the sectors of the society for which Vajpayee devoted his life.