Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh on 25 December 1924 to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee. He is a post graduate with MA in Political Science. In college being a student of political science and law he developed a keen interest in foreign affairs. He had nourished this interest over the years and used it wisely while representing India at various multilateral and bilateral fora. By age of 16, he was an active swayamsevak in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was an activist in Arya Samaj movement. He also participated in the Quit India movement. Along with RSS activities, he was working for multiple newspapers and magazines.
Vajpayee’s political career started in 1951 as a national secretary of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh party. In 1957, he won Lok Sabha elections and his oratorical skills worked magic in the house of Indian Parliament. In 1968, he was appointed as the national president of the Jana Sangh party. In 1977, he was appointed as the minister of external affairs in Morarji Desai’s cabinet. He was the first foreign minister to deliver a speech in Hindi to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1980, after the collapse of Desai’s Janata party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was formed with Vajpayee as its first President. In 1986, he won Rajya Sabha elections. For various terms he served Lok Sabha as Member of Parliament, starting from 1957–1962 at Balrampur, again from 1967–1971 from Balrampur, then from 1971–1977 from Gwalior, again from 1977–1984 from New Delhi and finally from Lucknow 1991–2009.
In 1996, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the 10th Prime Minister of India and first bachelor sworn in as the Prime Minister. After 16 days he resigned as he did not have enough support to form a government. After the 1998 general elections, Vajpayee took oath as the Prime minister of India. Under his leadership, India was successful in conducting five underground nuclear tests in the Pokhran range in Rajasthan. Vajpayee set off a new peace process with Pakistan with an agenda to permanently resolve the Kashmir dispute and other conflicts. In his leadership Kargil war went on for 3 months with Pakistan and ended with withdrawal from Pakistan and almost 70% of the territory was recaptured by India. The AIADMK pulled their support to the NDA in May 1999, resulting in the Vajpayee administration being reduced to a caretaker status and pending fresh elections scheduled for October 1999. Through the 1999 general elections Vajpayee took oath as the prime minister of India for the third time with a clear majority. During this tenure, there were many terrorist attacks and violence in the nation which he handled very well.
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In 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement. Though he remained bachelor all his life, he had adopted Namita Bhattacharya and raised her as his own. He was an excellent author. He published many prose and poetry.His poetic lines were often part of his public speeches. Being an excellent orator and poet, various collections were made of his speeches, articles, and slogans. He was not just a critically acclaimed poet but also would take time off from state affairs and indulge in music and a bit of gourmet cooking. The Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor, was awarded to him in acknowledgment of his nearly 50 years of service to the citizens and the society and his noble devotion to his first and only love, India. He was named India’s ‘Best Parliamentarian.
Vajpayee was in critical condition and admitted to AIIMS on 11 June 2018 following a kidney infection. He was declared dead at on 16 August 2018 at the age of 93. On 17 August, Vajpayee's body draped in the Indian flag was taken to the BJP headquarters for party workers to pay their tributes. At Rashtriya Smriti Sthal near Raj Ghat, he was cremated with full state honors and his pyre was lit by his foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya.
His achievements are too many to be penned down. He was a parliamentarian for over 40 years and was elected to the Rajya Sabha 2 times and the Lok Sabha 10 times. He was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a complete term of the office. He was honoured with the ‘Bharat Ratna Award’, the highest civilian honour of India in 2014. 25th December, his birthday is celebrated as the ‘Good Governance Day.' Share quotes of excellent statesmen with your friends and family. Let us remember Vajpayee for all that he has selflessly done for the nation.