#DeshKeAtal: Facts to know about Atalji- marvelous orator, brilliant statesmanLast updated on Aug 16, 2018, 03:24 pm
As Atal Bihari Vajpayee is battling illness and age, his niece Kanti Mishra said she wanted to hear him speak one more time. This is precisely the emotion of the nation which rallied behind Vajpayee and adored him for decades.
Vajpayee's statesmanship and his oratory skills impressed even his detractors.
Here's looking at a few facts about the stalwart.
Went to college with father, jail with brother
Vajpayee and his father Krishna Bihari Vajpayee were classmates at Law College (DAV College in Kanpur). The father-son duo even shared the same hostel room.
Interestingly, Vajpayee Sr. was a poet too. It obviously runs in the family!
Like his father, even Vajpayee's brother was close to him. In 1942, the Vajpayee brothers were arrested for participating in the 'Quit India Movement'.
Before joining RSS, Vajpayee was impressed by communism
As surprising as it may seem, Vajpayee flirted with communism before he joined RSS in 1939. He became a full-time RSS-worker in 1947.
Notably, the 'PM' Vajpayee promoted the idea that RSS shouldn't be necessarily involved in matters of governance, and maintain its 'apolitical' image.
RSS acknowledged it and said they'll change with time, showing only Vajpayee could defy the sangh and emerge unharmed.
Alongside Shyama Mookerjee, Vajpayee batted for Indians' rights in Kashmir
Vajpayee was Shyama Prasad Mookerjee's aide during his protest against the 'inferior' treatment meted to Indians in Kashmir. Earlier, visiting Indians had to show ID cards, but Mookerjee's fast contributed in overturning this rule.
But soon Mookerjee lost his life, and Vajpayee took the baton from him.
Vajpayee was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1957 and only rose after that.
Vajpayee gave orders for Pokhran tests- CIA's biggest frustration
The gutsy PM Vajpayee made India a nuclear state by conducting Pokhran tests with five bombs on May 13, 1998.
Notably, India failed the tests in 1995 and US President Bill Clinton warned us. Pakistan also tapped on this failure.
But Vajpayee and APJ Abdul Kalam scripted history with successful tests which the CIA failed to detect.
Their biggest failure, our biggest victory!
Bus to Lahore
Aboard bus to Lahore, Vajpayee wanted to mend ties
In an attempt to iron out differences with Pakistan, Vajpayee hopped on the Sada-e-Sarhad bus to Lahore on 19 February 1999. His Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif came to the Wagah border to welcome him.
Global media clicked these two South Asian leaders, exchanging pleasantries and smiling.
This seeded hopes of amicable ties but unfortunately over the years, the statesmanship Vajpayee showed has been lost.
Vajpayee gave a speech in UN that the world remembered
Vajpayee's speeches forced Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to say that one day the young leader would become the country's PM.
The BJP veteran was the first Indian to deliver a speech in UN in Hindi. As the External Affairs Minister in 1977, Vajpayee showed the world what a great orator he is.
He also gave BJP its soul-lines: 'Andhera Chatega, Suraj Niklega, Kamal Khilega.'
This will stay in our heart, for a long time