Biography of Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Former Prime Minister of India – The life and Political journey.
With great respect and pride, we are trying to write a biography of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was a softhearted Indian politician and poet.
Who is Atal Bihari Vajpayee?
He was the first prime minister not of Indian National Congress. He was a member of the Bharatiya Janta Party.
He served three terms as a prime minister of India. He was a member of Indian parliament for five decades.
He was elected in Lok Sabha for 10 times and in Rajya Sabha for twice. He served as Member of Parliament from Lucknow.
He retired from active politics in 2009 due to health issue. He was among the founding members of Bhatatiya Janta Party.
In addition, he was the president of the party from 1968 to 1972. Under his leadership as Prime Minister India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
He tried to improve diplomatic relations with Pakistan by traveling to Lahor by bus to meet Pakistani Prime minister Nawas Sharif.
Even after 1999 Kargil war he tried to restore the relation by inviting Pervez Musharraf by inviting him to India for Agra summit.
His birthday 25th December would be marked as good governance day in 2015.
He was honoured by India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna by president of India Pranab Mukherjee. He died on 16th august 2018 because of age related illness.
Early life and Education
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born in to Hindu Brahmin family on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior Madhya Pradesh.
He did his schooling in Gwalior and then in 1934 he was admitted to middle school in Barnagar, Ujjain District.
Again he completed his bachelor (B.A.) in Gwalior and then completed his post-graduation (M.A.) in political science from Kanpur.
He joined RSS in 1039 as volunteer. He became general secretary of youth wing of Arya Samaj movement in 1944.
After that in 1947, he became full time worker-pracharak in RSS. He gave up studding law due to partition riots and then went to Uttar Pradesh as a vistarak (a probationary pracharak).
After that, he worked for “Rashtradharma“, the newspaper of Deendayal Upadhyaya: (a Hindi monthly), dailies Swadesh, Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly), and the Veer Arjun.
He became active member of RSS at the age of 16 in 1942. He and his younger brother Prem arrested for 24 days during Quit India Movement.
In 1951, Vajpayee was seconded by RSS with Deendayal Upadhyaya to work for Bhartiya Janta Sangh-a Hindu right wing political party associated with RSS.
He appointed as the national secretary of the party based in Delhi. Very soon, he became a follower and aide of party leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
He elected from Balrampur. In the Lok sabha Vajpayee impressed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and he predicted that Vajpayee would become Prime Minister of India someday.
After the death of Deendayal Upadhyaya the leadership of Jana sangh passed to Vajpayee. He became the national president of Jana sangh in 1968, and ran the party along with Nanaji Deshmukh, Balraj Madhok and L.K Advani.
He arrested in 1975 during internal emergency imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Vajpayee served as a foreign minister in Morarji Desai’s cabinet. He became first person who deliver his speech in Hindi in United Nations General Assembly.
Form the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party)
In 1979, Desai and Vajpayee resigned. The members of Bhartiya Jana Sangh came together and foam the Bhartiya Janta Party in 1980 with Vajpayee as its first president.
He served as M.P. of Lok Sabha starting from Balrampur from 1957 to 1962 and then 1967 to 1971, then from Gwalior from 1971 to 1977, New Delhi from 1077 to 1984 and finally he served from Lucknow from 1991 to 2009.
As we, all know he became Prime Minister of India three times. For the first time he became Prime minister of India on 16th May 1996.
He was the 10th prime minister of India, but unfortunately, BJP failed to muster a majority among members of the Lok Sabha. Therefore, vajpayee resigned after 16 days.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee – as Prime Minister
In 1998 general election BJP won and Vajpayee sworn in as the prime minister.
Vajpayee government lasted 13 month until mid-1999 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) under Jayalalithaa withdrew its support.
The government lost vote of confidence in Lok Sabha by a single vote on 17th April 1999. After that, the Lok Sabha again dissolved and fresh elections were held.
The 1999 general election held after Kargil operation. BJP-led NDA won 303 seats out of 543 seats in Lok Sabha.
That was comfortable and stable majority. Again, that time Vajpayee took oath as the prime minister of India third time on 13th October 1999.
In 2003, news reports suggested sharing of leadership between Prime Minister Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K.Advani.
When Atal Bihari Vajpayee threatened retirement, party president Naidu backtracked, announcing that the party would contest the elections under the twin leadership of Vajpayee and Advani.
Retirement from active politics
In December 2005, Vajpayee announced retirement from active politics. He declared that he would not contest in next general election.
During a speech in Rajya Sabha Manmohan Sing called him Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics.
He was hospitalised at AIMS for chest infection and fever on 6th February 2009.
He was on ventilator support as his condition worsened but then he recuperated and then later he was discharged.
Personal life of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Due to poor health, he was not able to campaign for 2009 general election. Vajpayee remain bachelor for his entire life.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee adopted his friend’s daughter, Namita Bhattacharya. She and her husband prof. B.N.Kaul lived with him.
He was fond of whisky and meat. He was a noted poet in Hindi. His published works include Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian, it was a collection of poems written when him.
That was imprisoned during the 1975–77 emergency, and Amar Aag Hai. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a stroke in 2009, and just because of that, he impaired his speech.
It is said he was confined to a wheelchair and failed to recognise people. He also suffered from long-term diabetes and dementia.
For many years, he did not attend any public engagements. In June 2018, Atal Bihari Vajpayee admitted to AIMS for the critical condition of kidney infection.
Officially, he declared dead on 16th August 2018 at the age of 93. On the next day, his body draped with the Indian flag and was taken to BJP headquarter where party workers paid their tribute.
Same day at 4 pm he was cremated with full state honours at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal near Raj Ghat. His foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lighted his pyre.
On 19th August his daughter’s family immersed his ashes in river Ganga at Haridwar.