An ode to a modest hero:
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25 Decemeber 1924 to 16 August 2018)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee founded Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in 1980 and in 1984 BJP had just two members in Parliament. He was severely punished in 1980 and 1984 by public for joining/merging his older party Jan Sangh with Janta Party in 1977.
An orator at par, a poet, a statesman who was never afraid to pause in conversation and a person who loved good food will always be remembered for his affable nature.
Eventually in 1996 he became Prime Minister of India for 13 days. After fresh polls in 1998 he became Prime Minister for 11 months after which his Government fell for just one vote. In 1999 itself fresh polls were held and Atalji became Prime Minister for the third time till 2004. He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015
What is known is that Atalji undertook major infrastructure development of India by adding 23814 Km of National Highways in just five years between 1997-2002. This half of what was constructed in past 30 years.
Atalji on 25 December 2000 launched a nationwide plan to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages in India. This shall be completed in a months time. Half of target was achieved in his tenure only.
Another program launched by him was Education for all to ensure all children receive free basic education.
Too many major crises surfaced in his tenure. First was Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 hijacking by Talibani terrorists from Nepal. Second was Kargil war thrust upon by Pakistan during which USA refused to share GPS coordinate to enable the India to launch air attack. Another was attack of terrorists on Parliament. On December 13, 2001, a group of masked, armed men with fake IDs stormed the Parliament building in Delhi. The terrorists managed to kill several security guards, but the building was sealed off swiftly and security forces cornered and killed the men, who were later proven to be Pakistan nationals. Apparently India had too many enemies and it was unprepared.
However what is not known is that Atalji, a poet, made India a military power. It was not just nuclear explosion and development of gps now launched as NAAVIK.
Agreements to develop/manufacture Missiles, Aircraft Carriers, Submarines, Nuclear Submarines, Naval Ships, Aircrafts like Sukhoi, LCA and other were all initiatives taken by Atalji so that India may not be treated as sitting duck like he had to face during his tenure.
Rest in peace the poet soldier of India.
Prime Minister with his entire cabinet walking in funeral procession of Atalji.
Crowd in funeral procession of a leader who was not seen in public for last 10 years.