Atal Bihari Vajpayee (born 25 December 1924 in Gwalior) is an Indian statesman who was the 10th Prime Minister of India, first for 13 days in 1996 and then from 1998 to 2004. A leader of the centre-right Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he was the only Prime Minister from outside the Indian National Congress party to serve a full five-year term.
Vajpayee Ji has adopted daughter, Namita. He is fond of Indian music and dance. He loves nature and one of his favourite retreats is Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Vajpayee Ji has said about his poetry, “My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier’s drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior’s will to win. It is not the dispirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.”
Some of his popular poetry and books are as follows :-
- Twenty-One Poems. (2003). ISBN 978-0-670-04917-2.
- Kya khoya kya paya: Atal Bihari Vajapeyi, vyaktitva aura kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1999). ISBN 978-81-7028-335-5.
- Meri ikyavana kavitayen. (1995).
- Meri ikyavana kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1995).
- Sreshtha kavita. (1997).
- Nayi Disha – an album with Jagjit Singh (1999)
- Samvedna – an album with Jagjit Singh (2002)
Vajpayee was often commended for his ability to stump his critics, especially in Parliament, with a passionate speech. Perhaps, one of his most memorable Parliament address was from 1996 during the confidence vote of his 13-day-old BJP government.
In first, a major political Parliament speech had the attention of the entire country as it was telecasted live on Doordarshan. With the responsibility of winning the confidence of people, a poignant Vajpayee talked about everything – from his political struggle and his diligence towards his post to corruption and the need to ‘save’ India.
These last 5 minutes capture the essence of his entire speech: