It has been often said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of India’s most charismatic leaders, had hailed former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as an avatar of Goddess Durga. Even CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury believed so and said in the Rajya Sabha that Vajpayee had introduced the Congress leader as an avatar of Durga post 1971 Bangladesh war.
However, Vajpayee, appearing on ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show on India TV sometime after the end of his 13-day tenure as Prime Minister of India, had denied calling Indira Gandhi ‘Durga.’
Today a lot of Liberals r taking liberty of callin Indira Gandhi as Durga in d name of Vajpayee, let‘s break this Modern Myth fr once & all pic.twitter.com/csRypF5qjc
— Yo Yo Funny Singh (@moronhumor) October 31, 2017
Vajpayee said he never said that and it was the handiwork of newspapers. The veteran BJP leader, as per the undated video, recollected that when Pupul Jayakar was writing her book on Indira Gandhi, she asked him about it and he denied it.
“She searched all Parliament records but couldn’t find the reference. But Durga is still chasing me,” Vajpayee said in the interview.
Jayakar’s biography of Indira was published in 1997. The author passed away the same year. In the book, Jayakar states that Indira was likened to Durga during the 1971 war, a statement that she does not attribute to anyone.
As India’s longest serving Prime Minister outside Congress party, Vajpayee is often described as the moderate face of BJP. An orator par excellence, he is known for taking big initiatives with prominent being bridging Indo-Pak differences.
He reached far beyond his BJP’s nationalist political agenda. Often called India’s longest serving Prime Minister outside Congress party, he is known as the moderate face of BJP. After four decades in opposition, he became Prime Minister in 1996, but his tenure lasted only 13 days as prime minister for lack of numbers. The lack of a stable majority also ended his second stint in power from 1998 after 13 months. He was re-elected in 1999 at the head of a more stable coalition that lasted its full term.
He is known to have inaugurated the historic Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999. He also pitched for resolving the Kashmir dispute and other conflicts with Pakistan and being the PM of India at the time of Kargil War.