Saturday, June 25th, 2022 01:32:10

Affection TO & Accept All is Atal

Updated: August 24, 2018 1:45 pm

We have lost a legend. Atalji in his final journey proved before the nation that Atal means Affection. Atal means Love All. He was a true son of soil, high character, unparallel orator, poet, and above all, human Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atalji was a leader with leadership beyond boundaries, but easily accessible. He never lost his capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire people with warmth and kindness. Atalji was the worthy son for Bharat Ratna. However, with or without the official recognition, he was the true leader of the common Indian without the arrogance of supremacy and exclucism of dynastic politicians. This was the reason why he was a true democratic leader of masses. Atalji, as fondly all Indians used to call him, was the political hero as a successful non-Congress Prime Minister of India. His speeches were always full of ideological ingredients, full of high moral values, patriotic and positive fervour. He had great respect for his political opponents and never personally attacked anyone. If we would study his political carrier we can find that many a time he had faced humiliation in politics, but he never felt disheartened. He would happily accept criticisms by his opponents, and he was very expressive of his feelings through his poems.  Even when he was a pracharak of RSS, he would always follow the discipline of the organisation. In fact, ‘discipline’ is the major benchmark for his success, and that’s why he was dear to all as Atalji. His mesmerising speeches with thunderous voice would attract all classes of people, even his ideological opponents. Having spent almost five decades in Parliament, Atalji never attacked any one personally and so did his opponents also never shower calumny on him. Atalji would always say: Our temples are our prerna kendras. Even when he visited different countries as Foreign Minister or as PM, he would always search the Indian culture, heritage, and Indian roots. Once, when he was attending the Ramayana celebration in Indonesia, he anxiously asked the Foreign Minister there: Why is Ramayana celebrated in Indonesia? He got a sweet reply that despite being a Muslim country, Indonesia loves Lord Rama. And when the Indonesian Foreign Minister asked Atalji: Why is there a controversy on birthplace of Lord Rama? Atalji was in a very awkward position to answer this in a foreign land that why there is opposition on building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

He was a great human being, who valued life over leadership. He was a complete leader in all aspects, may be because of that, God tested him tough–Kargil, Kandahar, forex reserve, Parliament attack was the toughest time, but he handled all of them with utmost care.  Atalji showed what a responsible Opposition means. During the Pakistan war in 1971, he stood behind the Indira Gandhi government resolutely. He applauded Indira Gandhi and called her Durga. A protégé of Jana Sangh stalwarts like Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Atalji won the admiration of Jawaharlal Nehru, was consulted by his daughter Indira Gandhi–whom he never lacked the courage to criticise–and befriended by fiery trade unionist George Fernandes even before they became political allies. He thus displayed an unusual ability to carry along all shades of political opinion–something that came to fore when he headed the NDA government between 1999 and 2004. And behind this public persona was an unusual personal life, conducted with such dignity as to remain free of innuendo. For Atalji, everything that was Bharatiya was Hindu, and in his reckoning, the term Hindu did not denote the followers of Hinduism but all those who lived in Bharat that is India. Quite early in his political life, Atalji realised that India was a secular country with a tradition of tolerance for all faiths. By implication, this meant that no political party could survive and prosper in the country by espousing extreme ideologies. Thus, he wanted to fashion the BJP as a centre-of-the-road party, which carried everybody along with it. Hence, the true tribute to this visionary statesman would be to put the nation before self and be true to ourselves and others.


By Deepak Kumar Rath


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