Beloved poet and gentleman

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/17/2018 12:13:46 PM IST

 It was the end of a journey spanning some 76 years for one of India’s most loved politician, poet , a gentleman and former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who passed away in New Delhi’s AIIMS at the age of 93 on August 17,2018. Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to a schoolteacher, Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, and Krishna Devi. Today, his birthday is celebrated as ‘Good Governance Day’. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of India’s most charismatic leaders who led the nation through several crises and held together a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics. Vajpayee began his political career as a freedom fighter, with his first brush with politics as part of the Quit India movement of 1942. As a student, Vajpayee had briefly been inclined toward communism. However, he changed track after he was won over by the appeal of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Later, influenced by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Vajpayee in 1951 joined the Jana Sangh. Vajpayee, who joined the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangha (RSS) in 1947 rose through ranks to become a stalwart of the BJP and was the first non-Congress prime minister to complete a full term in office. Seen as a moderate face of BJP, Vajpayee’s first became prime minister in 1996, leading a shaky coalition whose members were suspicious of the BJP’s right-wing politics. It lasted for 13 days and collapsed after losing a vote of no-confidence. Finally, the NDA with Vajpayee as PM returned to power in 1999 and was voted out in 2004. A 10-time MP of the Lok Sabha, Vajpayee announced his retirement from politics in 2005 after his BJP-led NDA lost the election to the Congress and its alliance partners. Vajpayee was also a member of the Rajya Sabha twice. After the 2004 defeat, Vajpayee blamed it on the horrific communal pogrom in Gujarat ruled by BJP under then chief minister Narendra Modi, where thousands were butchered. Vajpayee was also blamed for failing to get rid of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Though an RSS, Vajpayee projected a humane side in being a friend of all those in need. He was accepted by all sides of the political spectrum that some within BJP even called him as “half a Congressman”. Vajpayee didn’t mind because such words didn’t bother him. He had a very big heart which could accommodate any such criticism. He was compared as the second Nehru because of his open and liberal attitude yet steadfastly adhering to the ethos of Hinduism. His popularity across political lines could be attributed in large measure on his ability to accommodate diverse views and respect for rivals. It is reported that Nehru encouraged Vajpayee in many ways as he saw in the young Jan Sanghi , qualities that could make him a future prime minister. And what a prophecy it was. The present BJP is in sharp contrast to that which Vajpayee and Advani built and won power thrice. Vajpayee cannot be appropriated by the BJP in the death because he lived and died as an Indian for all Indians. The nation has lost a great soul and a good human being and the vacuum created will be very difficult to fill for a very long time.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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