Sunday, 9 August 2020

Giant Among Men

Updated: January 28, 2016 12:49 pm

On 25th December, when the world celebrates the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ, Indian democracy pays homage to the living legend Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Not only in his tenure as Prime Minister of India, but also as a seasoned politician, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is looked upon as the benchmark of Indian politics in post independence period, where coalition and tolerance walk side by side, giving the highest regards to the Indian Constitution and both houses of the Parliament. His biggest political rivals had the highest regard for him. From being a Law school dropout who went to jail for country’s freedom to becoming one of the most respected Prime Ministers of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee stands tall in the Indian polity

Many people still wonder how it was possible for a right wing politician of the calibre of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form a coalition government at the centre. Interestingly at the beginning of his career, when India got independence Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a brief introduction with communism. Later he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which was the turning point in his career. His association with Syama Prasad Mookerjee was a pivotal one. Vajpayee under the leadership of Syama Prasad Mookerjee spearheaded the campaign in Kashmir. The Parliamentary journey of Atal Bihari Vajpayee began when he was elected for the first time in Lok Sabha in 1957.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee A Man For All Seasons

Kingshuk Nag

Rupa

Price : `395

Pages : 189

 

As a Parliamentarian, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was ahead of others. He served the Lok Sabha 10 times, spanning more than five decades from 1957 to 2009. Post independence it was a myth that no non-Congress government can complete five years of term in the Delhi. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government broke the myth and reinstated itself as the most credible face of non-Congress nationalist platform in India. The joint leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani gave a viable and credible alternative to Congress. Let’s also not forget Vajpayee’s role in the Morarji Desai government when he was External Affairs Minister. His lectures in the UN Assembly depicting pluralism and integrity of India are still held in highest regard. Vajpayee’s golden moment of course came when he became the Prime Minister and steered India through some toughest moments.

Vajpayee won the admiration of Jawaharlal Nehru, was consulted by his daughter in Indira Gandhi- whom he never lacked the courage to criticise- and befriended by fiery trade unionist Georgr Fernandes even before they become political allies. He thus displayed an unusual ability to carry along all shades of political opinion.

In the book Atal Bihari Vajpayee- A man for all seasons journalist Kingshuk Nag traces the political journey of this tall parliamentarian of over four decades. Replete with different stories about the stalwart of Indian politics, this book gives an insight into the unseen life of Vajpayee. This biography gives a perfectly balanced view of the life and times of one of India’s most illustrious non-Congress leaders.

By Nilabh Krishna

31-01-2016

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