Here ends the legend of Atal...

Avinash Anand
Former Prime Minister and a legendary leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee died in New Delhi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday. The 93 year old Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Politics was suffering from multiple ailments and was put to life support system. His condition became critical in the last 24 hours. The funeral will be held on Friday at 01.30 pm. the mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be taken to his residence on Thursday night. On Friday morning, his body will be taken to the headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party at 09.00 am. 

Some interesting facts which all should know about him:

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a bright student and was completed his Post Graduate Degree in Political Science with first division.
  • He attended DAV College, Kanpur where he & his father studied Law together. Both of them attended the same class and lived in the same hostel room but when students started talking about the father-son duo, both were placed in different sections.
  • Atal was greatly fascinated with journalism and always wanted to become a journalist. His dream came true when he was sent to Uttar Pradesh to work for Deendayal Upadhyaya’s newspapers- Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Veer-Arjun & Swadesh.

  • His activism started with Arya Kumar Sabha in Gwalior.
  • Before joining Rashtriya Swayam SewakSangh (RSS), Atal was inclined towards communism and after being influenced by Babasaheb Apte, he joined RSS in 1939 and in 1947, he became a Propagator of RSS (technically a full-time worker).
  • His sister used to throw his pants across the wall of the house and he use to wear them outside the house as  his father was a government employee and didn’t allow him to wear RSS Khakhi pants.
  • In 1942, Atal was arrested, along with his elder brother Prem, for 23 days for participating in Quit India Movement against the British Government in India.
  • In the 2nd General Elections of 1957, he contested for the first time from two constituencies- Mathura and Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh. He lost the Mathura seat to Raja Mahendra Pratap and won the Balrampur seat.
  • His oratory skills impressed Jawaharlal Nehru a lot & he predicted that Atal Bihari Vajpayee would become the PM of the country and he proved him right.

  • Because of his intelligence and grounding in politics, Atal Bihari Vajpayee got elected to Lok Sabha for a record 9 times & twice for Rajya Sabha.
  • Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister of India, used to treat him as his political guru.
  • He uplifted Hindi to an international platform by addressing in Hindi at the United Nations, an became the first person to address in Hindi at UNO. 
  • He became the Prime Minister of India for three times: first time on 16 May 1996 for only 13 days, second time on 19 March 1998 for 13 months and third time on 13 October 1999 for a full 5-year term.
  • On 13 May 1998, he led the successful nuclear test named- Operation Shakti at Pokhran in Rajasthan and lead India in the league of the world’s elite nuclear club.
  • In order to build a strong relation with Pakistan, he took a bus journey named- Sada-e-Sarhad to Lahore on 19 February 1999.
  • His health started deteriorating in the late 2000, He underwent a knee replacement surgery in 2001 and suffered a stroke in 2009, which impaired his speech.
  • Besides being the most revered and beloved politician in India, he is the only Parliamentarian to be elected from 4 different Indian States- Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • He is considered as one of the finest Hindi-poets in India and in an interview, he revealed that he had no interest in politics and would always like to be a poet.
  • Although, he was a Brahmin by birth, he loved non-veg cuisines very much. His favorite non-veg dish was Prawn and his favorite restaurant was Karim in Old Delhi.
  • He remained an M. P. for 47 years (11 times from Lok Sabha and 2 times from Rajya Sabha).
  • On 25 December 2014, Government of India announced to honor him with India’s highest Civilian Award– Bharat Ratna and in a special gesture, President of India conferred him the award at his residence on 27 March 2015. He was also honoured with Padma Vibhushana in 1992, the Best Parliamentarian award in 1994.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee practiced celibacy and didn’t get married. Although, he adopted a daughter whose name is Namita.
  • Atal Ji dedicates his great career in politics to Amar Kirti Vijay Pataka by Mahatma Ramchandra Veer.
  • His birthday (25th December) has been declared as Good Governance Day by the NDA.

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