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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

आओ फिर से दिया जलाएँ

भरी दुपहरी में अँधियारा

सूरज परछाई से हारा

अंतरतम का नेह निचोड़ें

बुझी हुई बाती सुलगाएँ

आओ फिर से दिया जलाएँ

These are a few lines from a famous poem written by the Indian statesman, poet, writer and the former Prime Minister of India, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This poem gives the message of lighting a lamp to eliminate the darkness and misunderstandings in our minds and hearts, to the readers. 

Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first non- member of the Indian National Congress who served a full term as the Prime Minister of India. Vajpayee was born into an ordinary Hindu Brahmin family, to a teacher. He was brought up in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. He completed his education with a bachelor’s degree in Hindi, English and Sanskrit. He completed his post-graduation in Political Science. 

Vajpayee’s activism started in Gwalior, with the Arya Samaj Movement in the year 1944. He was appointed the general secretary there. He also joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS in 1939. At the young age of 16, he was already a very active member of the RSS. Thus, we can understand that politics was his passion for a very long time. In August 1942, he and his brother were arrested for 24 days for taking part in the Quit India Movement. This setback did not stop him from pursuing his political career further. After getting out of jail, he was back on his feet and taking the country by revolution and activism. 

In a few years, he was appointed the National Secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. In 1977, the BJS joined with three other political parties to form the Janata Party. Atal came to be known for his efforts to improve relations with Pakistan and China. Vajpayee then went ahead to help the BJS be recognised as the BJP. This was Vajpayee’s Eureka Moment. After the establishment of BJP, the political scenario in India changed drastically. The establishment of this party also credited Vajpayee a lot of importance politically. In 1992, he raised his voice against the controversy in Ayodhya. 

In 1996, he was appointed the Prime Minister but could sustain for only 13 days as he did not have support from other parties. In 1998 he was appointed as prime minister again but was forced to mane an unstable alliance with other parties. In 2002, the government was criticized for its unsatisfactory and slow response to the Gujarat riots. In 2003, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a great effort to resolve the tensions and long-running feud between India and Pakistan regarding the Kashmir region. 

Under his reign, India managed to have immense economic, scientific and technological growth. India also conducted nuclear tests during this time. In 2004, his coalition did not win the parliamentary elections and thus he resigned. He announced his retirement from Indian politics in 2005. 

In 2014, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna. On 16th August 2018, Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away due to a kidney infection, at the age of 93. He is still remembered and respected by crores of Indians as well as in foreign countries and is kept alive through his works of prose and poetry.