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Monday, August 20, 2018

Cityblog Feature: Nayakgiri

End of an Era: Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25th Dec 1924- 16th Aug 2018)

End of an Era: Will miss you Atalji. I had personal events attended by him in past. Great Statesman, Orator, Consensus Politician, Journalist  Poet, Social Servant, Parliamentarian and PM.
I was 5 years old. It was 1979 Children’s Year. I joined a camp which had swimming coaching for young children. There is a well near the tank which was treated as final test. They had announced a competition. One who jumps firsst in the well (around 20-25 ft jump into water will get a cricket bat and second will get season ball. Many tried , but I finally made up my mind with assumption that someone will rescue me as there weer coaches swimming around in the well. I jumped and everyone clapped. I got the bat. No one else did so I asked them to give me ball as I will jump again. Then it was a ritual that they used to make me jump whenever any guest came. One day there was a guest. Then foreign minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He appreciated my jump and patted my back with saying “Jite raho aise hi dar ka saamna karo”

Today I have no words to say as Atalji left us. Those images still fresh. Atalji was multifaceted personality. As a Freedom fighter, social worker, journalist, Orator, Poet, Politician, Parliamentarian, Minister and PM. He was respected all across his journey in above facets.

As a Freedom Fighter, he joined Quit India movement in 1942 and designed few innovative plans to achieve its ends.

As a Social Worker, he chose RSS as medium of service, he did lot of relief work, structured the organization at very young, His social work continued in politics as well.

As a Journalist, he was entrusted task of of organizational publications in Political party and RSS. He did good writing on current issue which continued through his columns in papers, interviews, speeches and so on.

As an Orator, his speeches are archived and shared across social media even today. I remember waiting for him to arrive at local ground to hear him. I was spellbound as other audience. He was mass enchanter. His speeches in Parliament, political rallies, DD releases, UN are still remembered. Though his pauses very used by each stand up mimicry artist but it created some effect.

As a Poet, he was creative, enthralling and his poems showed ways to those depressed, under motivated. It created ethereal effect across life space.

As a Politician

As Parliamentarian, Like many popular politicians, Atalji gave people diverse reasons to admire him. For nostalgia, he represented a living bridge between the post-Independence era and our own. In 1957, when Atalji  first entered the Lok Sabha, Jawaharlal Nehru was still prime minister. The last time Atalji won a Lok Sabha election, in 2004, was also the year Rahul Gandhi first entered Parliament. So aptly he represented history of Modern India post Independence and was instrumental in key contribution when he was in power. He build consensus across parties ensuring smooth functioning. He had once termed Indira Gandhi as Goongi Gudiya to later praise her as Durga during 71 wall. He was first to support Pokharan I. He was sent to UN to represented India when PV Narsimharao was PM and he was in Opposition he did not make any political internal comments neither in Press nor in his speech. He held fort  for Janasangh after death of Deenadayal Upadhyaya was a display of strength and character. The rise of BJP from 2 seats in 84 to vast majority in 2014 was envisioned by Atalji’s vision and strategies. As foreign Minister in 77 government his speech at UN was historical. He tried to build bridges with many countries


As a PM, Atalji was arguably India’s greatest economic liberaliser PM, a rare politician who pursued reforms out of conviction rather than compulsion. He remains the only prime minister to seriously attempt to roll back the bloated socialist state from the commanding heights of the economy it had occupied under Nehru and his successors. On Atalji’s watch, the government successfully privatized about a dozen companies spanning bakeries, hotels, telecoms, minerals and fertilizers. He became Prime minister for 13 days, 13 months and finally completed 5 years from 1999-2004. It was setback for India story that none of India shining/feel good factor terms worked. Had he got another terms, our progress would not have shunted for 10 years till 14. He had his share of criticism during Kandahar Kidnapping, Parliament attacks, Pokharan, Lahore Bus followed by Kargil, and finally Gujarat Riots after burning of train at Godhra. His focus on Infrastructure, telecom reforms. Banking, IT, real estate sectors really prospered under his Government and its policies. India gained respect across globe from political , investment destination and as part of responsible coalition against terrorism, economic warfare. His exit from political space was also graceful. His love for mountains especially climes of Manali is known to all. He never interfered in party matters and decision making. His last journey where all PMs, party functionaries, ministers, CM was unprecedented. Meanwhile personally I had another chance to be closely involve with publication of photo biography published by one of very close family friends


And now compare what INC did to one of the two greatest PMs of our country shaping modern aspiring India namely: PV Narshimha Rao other being Atalji. Modi’s place will be determined over period of time. They totally disowned  him, not allotted land for his memorial just because of some disputed structure was taken down in his tenure. He has to be credited for bold political role he played during 91 liberalization. Though the credit is given mostly by a Machiavelli design to someone else. 


I still remember those golden years from 2002 to 2004 when we had best President in A P J Abdul Kalam and PM in Atalji. India really prospered. Kalam played key role in post 2004 polls scene avoiding an apparent disaster. Salute to these two and other architects of Modern India
 


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