The ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of Indian politics has departed.
The Overseas Friends of BJP (UK) mourns the demise of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was an ‘Anmol Ratna’ as described by PM shri Narendra Modi. With his death, an era has ended not just for BJP but also for Bharat. He was one of the last few surviving politicians who worked with all the prime ministers of Independent Bharat – From Jawahar Lal Nehru to Manmohan Singh. Aptly described as a ‘poet prime minister’ for his mastery of writing inspirational Hindi poems, he rose to became the first ‘swayamsevak’ and truly first non-congress prime minister to complete a full term. Born in a middle class family, he achieved all the fame and glory due to his qualities as a fine orator, inspiration leader and a true patriot. He wrote his own destiny.
‘Atal ji’ as people fondly called him, was one of the founding members of the Bhartiya Jan Sangh, the previous incarnation of today’s BJP. He, along with Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya were delegated to work with Shri Shyama Prasad Mukharjee, when he asked Param Poojniya Shri Guruji, the then Sarsanghchalak of RSS, for help in establishing a new ‘India Centric’ political party. Rest, as they say, is history.
Even though he was a political opponent of Smt Indira Gandhi and Congress, he, as a true patriot, has the magnanimity of describing her as ‘Goddess Durga’ for her efforts and leadership in liberation of Bangla Desh, in 1971. For him, the country was supreme and politics was just a tool for nation building and serving the people. The same Mrs Gandhi, incarcerated him along with thousands of other workers in jail for 19 months, during infamous ‘Emergency’ in Bharat in 1975, but he did not have any personal bitterness for her. He was one of the finest human being in Indian politics. Famous to have an unparalleled sense of humour, once in parliament someone questioned his knowledge of problems faced by married people as he himself was a lifelong bachelor. His cryptic remark was ‘one doesn’t need to burn his finger to know that fire burns’.
He successfully led India in very testing times. Managing a group of 24 diverse political parties, he gave a corruption free administration for 6 years, as prime minister. He would be remembered as the visionary leader who made India a member of the exclusive club of declared ‘Nuclear Powers’ and changed the equations of world politics forever. For India, it was a moment of rebirth. Vajpayee’s leadership was further tested by Kargil war. His resilience, patience and belief gave India’s armed forces the leadership, they needed for victory.
A worthy son of ‘Bharat Mata’ Atal ji would forever be remembered for his sterling contribution to the cause of Mother India.
May his soul rest in peace.
Dr Anand Arya
16 August 2018
Vice President & Official spokesperson
Overseas Friends of BJP (UK)