In their own right

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/18/2018 12:33:18 PM IST

 Perhaps it was a coincidence but it did indicate that it was time for people who have pioneered political movements in their heydays since the pre-Independence and immediate post-independence period to depart. In August three such stalwarts of their respective parties- former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (died on August 17), former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee (died on August 13) and Dravidian icon and five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister M.Karunanidhi (died on August 7), have left behind their footprints in the sand of time. Their passing away within a space of hardly a week in between and on the same month, has left the nation weighed down with the added grief. The demise of each of these distinguished persons has seen a deluge of obituaries, 24x7 breathless media coverage of their funerals and cloying paeans to their greatness, their personalities, their popularity and momentous occasions in their long careers. Of all, it may be said that Atal Behari Vajpayee was the tallest as he was loved and revered by all Indians irrespective of their ideology or affiliation. There are as many accolades that had been written and will continue to be written about the greatness of Vajpayee as a humble and compassionate soul. He was also a bold leader who took decisive actions-be it in reaching out to the Kashmiris and Pakistanis, changing the surface with his Golden Quadrilateral project, liberalising the economy through disinvestment etc. Even his enemies loved and respected Vajpayee and that itself is most remarkable and quite comparable with the personality of Mahatma Gandhi. If anything, Vajpayee was and perhaps will be, the tallest leader of the BJP in memory and whose ideology, though welded with that of the RSS, chose to walk along the path of consensus and accommodation. Vajpayee worked in tandem with his life-long colleague L.K.Advani in shaping the destiny of the Jan Sangh to Bharatiya Janata Party and also the political fortunes of the nation. The other notable and much respected parliamentarian who died on August 13 was veteran Marxist leader from Bengal Somnath Chatterjee. He was Lok Sabha speaker from 2004 to 2009 during the UPA-I. Chatterjee had been a long time Lok Sabha MP winning ten times from Bengal. He was not only a veteran parliamentarian since 1971 but also a skilled orator and much respected. Somnath Chatterjee was expelled in June 2008 by the CPM for refusing to resign as Lok Sabha speaker and vote against the government, after the Left withdrew support to the UPA-II. This remained the saddest chapter for Somnath Chatterjee till his death. His family rightly refused to allow his body to be taken to the CPM headquarters or have the party flag draped over the coffin. Another political titan of India was M.Karunanidhi who took active part in the dravidian party’s anti-Hindi agitation. He was five time chief minister and also held the post of president of the DMK for 50 years. Karunanidhi was to the Dravidian movement and DMK what Nehru was to the independence movement and the Congress. What can be said of the three political titans is that they came, played their part to the best of their abilities and departed and left behind a national polity poorer.

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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