– Image Source : Google image
– Harshita Satish, I B.A. Economics
This is how Atal Bihari Vajpayee is regarded in the realm of foreign policy by everyone. The last time one saw A.B. Vajpayee was a decade ago, when he silently cast his trust vote for his successor, Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha. On 16 August 2018, at the age of 93, Vajpayee, BJP’s colossus, was liberated from his mortal constraints, a day after our 72nd Independence Day.
Born into a family of modest means and high ideals, he hailed from a small town in Madhya Pradesh. His sharp intellect coupled with nationalism steered his contribution to the freedom struggle. The 12-time Parliamentarian was the Prime Minister for three terms: 1996, 1998-1999 and 1999-2004.
This is a moment to look into the past, to get a peek into the future. He was surely many things to many people. For some, he is remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government. For others, he is the poet-prime minister and the trademark-orator without parallel. For many, he is a popular national leader who believed that power is a means of service and a statesman with a political career which never compromised on national interest.
He was a political stalwart with impeccable character who inspired people to emulate his nobility, patriotism and respect for traditional values.
He resurrected the Indian economy when it had reached its doldrums in the mid-1990’s. In May 1998, he took the decision to go ahead with nuclear tests despite knowing that the Western world led by the US would be outraged.
The credit for the construction of the Golden Quadrilateral must go to Vajpayee for taking fundamental developments in India to the next level. His camaraderie with neighbouring nations is evident from the famous bus trip to Lahore in February 1999.
Even during his final journey, we could hear the crowd clamouring “Atal Ji, amar rahey!” (Long Live, Atal Ji!). This is proof enough to his popularity as a people’s leader, which no other PM has enjoyed.
Atal Ji is a true Ratna of Bharat and a leader par-excellence. The King of hearts will continue to guide us all, as we build the new India of his dreams.