Former PM and one of the country’s most respected politicians Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more. The announcement was made by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS, where the 93-year-old was being treated by a team of doctors for nine weeks. Mr Vajpayee had been on life-support since Wednesday night.
There were many qualities that earned Atal Bihari Vajpayee the title of an ‘ajaatashatru’ (a leader with no enemies). But, what stood out was his spell-binding oratory, which was at once poetic and thoughtful, and frequently philosophical.
Here are 12 things you should know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee:-
1. Born in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, he obtained an MA in political science from Laxmibhai College in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
2. His father, Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, was a poet and a schoolmaster and Atal Bihari Vajpayee also got known for his poetry which was marked by nationalistic fervour and human values.
3. He first experienced politics with the Quit India Movement, during the struggle for Independence.
4. He also joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a Swayamsevak in 1939.
5. It is said that his oratorical skills so impressed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that he predicted that Vajpayee would someday become India’s Prime Minister.
6. His oratorical and organizational skills later made him the face of the Jana Sangh.
7. He served as the editor of (i) Rashtra-Dharma (monthly), (ii) Panchajanya (weekly) and Swadesh and Veer Arjun (both dailies).
8. In 1968, Vajpayee succeeded Deendayal Upadhyaya at the head of the Jan Sangh. He and his party supported the JP movement (Jayaprakash Narayan) and Vajpayee was jailed during the Emergency (1975–1977).
9. He served as Prime Minister for a short stint in 1996. Later on March 19, 1998, he took charge as Prime Minister of India and again on October 13, 1999, for the second consecutive term as the head of a new coalition government.
10. He was a member of the National Integration Council since 1961, President of (i) All India Station Masters and Assistant Station Masters Association, 1965-70, (ii) Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Samarak Samiti, 1968-84, (iii) Deendayal Dham, Farah, Mathura, UP, (iv) Janmabhoomi Smarak Samiti, 1969 onwards and (v) Krishna Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Trust, Gwalior.
11. The veteran parliamentarian was elected to the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament of India) ten times, and twice to the Rajya Sabha (upper house).
12. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan by President of India in recognition of his services to the Nation, conferred (I) Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy by Kanpur University, 1993, (ii) Lok Manya Tilak Puruskar, 1994, (iii) Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian, 1994 and Bharat Ratna in 2015.
We have lost a gem! #RipAtalBihariVajpayee Ji!
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