RIP Atal Bihari Vajpayee Dead At 93: Unknown FACTS About The Legend :- One of the most charismatic Prime Ministers of India and someone who is known to be politically firm in his conviction, Bharat Ratna awardee – Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away today at the age of 93. Leaders from across the political spectrum mourned the loss of India’s former prime minister. He is regarded as “Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Politics” for having been elected two times in the Rajya Sabha and ten times in Lok Sabha. He is the first head of the government from outside the Congress Party to serve a full five-year term. He has been been the editor of two monthly journals – Rashtradharma and Panchjanya and two news dailies – Swadesh and Veer Arjun. After he was conferred with the highest civilian honour – the Bharat Ratna by the President of India, PM Modi declared ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25, the day Atalji were born.
Though born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Atalji’s ancestral village was in Agra. He was a bright student of Political Science. His first activism started with Arya Kumar Sabha in Gwalior. During the freedom struggle he and his elder brother were imprisoned for 23 days for participating in Quit India Movement in the year 1942 against British Government in India. He and his father studied Law from DAV College in Kanpur and stayed in the same hostel room. Atalji wanted to become a journalist and worked for Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s newspaper. In the year 1953, he went on to fast-unto-death along with Shyam Prasad Mukherjee (founder of Bhartiya Jana Sangh) to protest against the law of carrying a permit to visit Kashmir.
Atalji’s political career started in the year 1957, when he first contested for the first time from two constituencies – Mathura and Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh during the second General Elections. While he lost to Raja Mahendra Pratap in Mathura, he won the Balrampur seat. When he delivered his maiden speech in the Parliament, the then PM – Pt. Jawarlal Nehru admired his speech and predicted that one day he would become the PM of India. Under Morarji Desai Governmment, when Atalji entered the Ministry of External Affairs as Minister, he found the portrait of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru missing. He immediately asked his staff members to bring it back.
In late 1998 and early 1999, Atalji began to push for a full-scale diplomatic peace process with Pakistan. Under Atalji’s leadership road connectivity was started namely – Sada e-Sarhad from Delhi to Lahore on 19 February 1999 in which he himself travelled.
In the year 1998, it was under his leadership that India was able to successfully conduct nuclear test (Operation Shakti) at Pokhran in Rajasthan without the knowledge world superpower US which was against the idea of India joining the league of elite nuclear hub.
Atalji had introduced several domestic economic and infrastructural reforms like encouraging private sector, privatisation of some government owned corporations, foreign investments and encouraging research and development.
Unknown facts about Atal Bihari Vajpayee
In the year 1977, when Atalji was required to give a speech in the United Nations General Assembly in the capacity of External Affairs Minister, he stunned the audience by speaking in Hindi. Talking about ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ he became the first person to give Hindi speech in UN and was widely appreciate across the globe. Atalji got the chance of becoming PM of India three times in the year 1996 (13 days), 1998 (13 months) and in 1999 (full term of 5 years).
Although he was born to a Brahmin family his love for non-vegetarian food is well known. Prawn was his favourite dish and Karim Hotel in Old Delhi was his favourite place to eat.
He is the only Parliamentarian to have been elected from four different states – Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and also one of the longest serving Parliamentarian (47 years).
In the world of Hindi literature he is considered to be the finest poets India has produced. Meri Ekyavan Kavitayein is one the most admired work of poetry.
Since late 2000, Atalji’s health started deteriorating frequently. In 2001, he underwent a knee replacement surgery in 2001 and suffered a heart stroke in the year 2009 which impaired his speech. On June 11, Vajpayee was admitted to AIIMS for treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), chest congestion and low urine output. UT infection turned out to be serious as he has only one kidney as other was removed in an operation some years ago.