Well, as you all know, if we have to term anyone as the contemporary “Grand Old Man of Indian Politics”, the unanimous choice will be Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Also known as the “Bhishma Pitamah” of Indian politics, Atal ji’s subtle demeanor and personality has been able to win over not only all the countrymen, but even his oppositions. After all, it’s not often that you find everyone around pointing an Indian politician as a saccha admi
(an honest person) or a accha banda
(a good fellow). Now that he has bid good-bye to politics forever, let’s take this opportunity to find out some of the facts (some known and some unknown) about this genius—
13. The Gandhi effect
Being an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Atalji and his elder brother participated in the Quit India Movement, and were even imprisoned for a period of 23 days. This incident marked his welcome in the political scenario of India. He was only eighteen years old at that time.
12. A great orator
Always a great orator, Atalji’s oratory skills had impressed Jawaharlal Nehru to a great extent. In fact, Nehru had even predicted that one day Atalji would become the Prime Minister of India.
11. Holding the highest office for three times
Did you know that Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of India not once or twice but thrice! The first time was way back in 1996 when BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha General Elections. However, after noticing that he couldn’t win the majority, he resigned from the post after 13 days.
10. Continuation of premiership
The next time he formed the Government for a period of 13 months in 1998-99 before plunging into it headlong with a clear majority. In 1999, he became the 10th
Prime Minister of India and formed the Government for a full period of 5 years!
9. Full tenure of someone outside from Congress
He is by far the only non-Congress Prime Minister to have served the Government for a full period of 5 years. Now, let’s see what Narendra Modi has in store!
8. The sentinel of realm
Why won’t he be referred to as the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Politics? After all, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha 2 times and to the Lok Sabha 9 times!
7. Won from four different states
Did you know that he is by far the only parliamentarian to have been elected from four different states altogether? Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were those states from where he was elected.
6. Taking Hindi everywhere
Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister of India and the first External Affairs Minister of India who had delivered speech in Hindi at the United Nations! Still got any doubts about his oratory skills?
5. Worsening health conditions
His health condition has led him to undergone 10 surgeries in the past 2 decades. Nowadays, this great orator is suffering from partial speech impairment owing to paralysis.
4. Amar Kirti Vijay Pataka
Atal Bihari Vajpayee dedicates his great career in politics to Amar Kirti Vijay Pataka
by Mahatma Ramchandra Veer. According to him, it is this great work that had literally changed his life!
3. The editor of yore
One of the lesser known facts about his life is that Vajpayee had been the editor of two monthlies—Rashtradharma
. Besides these, he had also been the editor of two news dailies—Swadesh
and Veer Arjun
2. His father, his classmate
Well, here’s another interesting trivia about Vajpayee. He is one of those few lucky ones who pursued education along with their fathers/mothers. Vajpayee had pursued a degree in Law from the famous DAV College, Kanpur along with his father. Apparently, when his father saw Vajpayee enrolling himself for the course, he became very interested and expressed his ardent desire to study the same.
1. A poet within
Now this is something that almost each one of us knows about, but without saying this, this list shall remain incomplete—Atal Bihari Vajpayee is one of the best contemporary poets of our country. He is a critically acclaimed poet. If you’re interested in poetry, get hold of his Meri Ekyavan Kavitayen, we’re sure you’ll love each one of them.