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Atal Bihari Vajpayee – A Man of Ethics

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the former Prime minister of India and a sincere BJP worker who founded the party and served the Indian politics for about 60 years. He is a very famous politician and stood as an example of ethics and principles in Indian Politics. He always used to advocate that the country is the top most important thing for any individual than even the party. His life history has been narrated in brief in this article and it is a tribute from the author to the great politician of India.


Nation is the top priority and then comes Party and after that only I come. How many of these days politicians accept and practice this. We may very rarely find such people. The person who followed this in every step of his life is none other than our former prime minister, Bharat Ratna Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After ruling the country for about 13 months when a partner in the coalition wanted to use the chance for their advantage, this great man never yielded to their threat and lost the power for just a single vote. Those are the ethics and principles he followed in his entire political career. He never hesitated to call a spade as a spade. He is one person who never cared about his party also when his colleagues were trying to take the advantage. Vajpayee is second in the list after Sardar Patel for such qualities. He was a scholar and poet. He was a very great orator and in the Lok Sabha even opposition leaders also used to clap for his oratory skills.

He served three terms as the Prime Minister of our country. First for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999 and finally for a full term from 1999 to 2004. He was the first non-congress Indian prime minister who served a full five-year term in office. He proved himself a man of ethics and principles and was a strong believer of democracy. He was never a power seeker and he never tried to manipulate the things in unethical ways. The life history of this great leader should be taught to all the students as a lesson and as a part of Indian history.

Early Life

He was born on 25 December 1924 at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee did his schooling at the Sarasvati Shishu Mandir in Gwalior. He graduated from Gwalior's Victoria College. He completed his MA in Political Science from DAV College Kanpur. He joined the RSS as a Swayam Sevak in 1939 and became a pracharak in 1947. He gave up studying law due to the partition riots.

Political Career

Vajpayee started his political career when he was only 16 years old and went to jail for 24 days for participating in the Quit India movement with his elder brother Prem. He Joined Bharatiya Janasangh party in 1951. He was the second in command and was appointed as the National Secretary.
He soon became a follower of Syama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Bharatiya Janasangh Party. In 1954, Vajpayee was with Mukherjee when the latter went on a hunger strike in Kashmir to protest the perceived inferior treatment of non-Kashmiri Indian visitors to the state. In the 1957 general election, Vajpayee contested elections to the Lok Sabha. He lost in Mathura but was elected from Ballarpur.

Vajpayee's speech impressed the then prime minister Nehru, who predicted the future leader of India in him. He became the national president of the Jana Sangh in 1968. Consequent to the internal emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, all the opposition Parties united and formed Janata Dal in which Janasangh has also become a member. In 1977, Janata party came to power and Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister. Vajpayee became the external affairs minister. He was the first person to deliver his speech in Hindi in the UN General Assembly. In 1979 the government collapsed. Vajpayee had renamed his erstwhile party as Bharathiya Janata Party {BJP} as the founder President.

In 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated and in the consequent elections Congress made a historic success and BJP got only two seats and Vajpayee lost in the election. He became a Member of the Rajya Sabha in 1986. Vajpayee resigned as the Party president and LK Advani became the President of BJP.

BJP won the 1996 elections and Vajpayee became the 10th Prime Minister of India. But he could not prove his majority in the Lok Sabha and the government collapsed in 13 days. In the 1998 elections many regional parties joined hands with BJP and NDA was formed. NDA formed the government and Vajpayee became the prime minister for the second time. It was not an easy task to lead the government but he could run the government for 13 months. During his term he conducted nuclear tests at Pokhran in May 1998 which gave him a good name in India. In early 1999, Vajpayee began a diplomatic peace process with Pakistan. He inaugurated the Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999, Vajpayee initiated a new peace process aimed towards permanently resolving the Kashmir dispute and other conflicts with Pakistan. In mid-1999 the AIADMK under the rule of Jayalalithaa withdrew the support for her own personal reasons.The government lost the vote of confidence motion by a single vote on 17 April 1999. This incident showed the ethical values and the principles of Vajpayee.

The Kargill war took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). With his diplomatic skills and the skills of Indian armed forces, India won the battle and the entire world understood the capabilities of India. Consequent to the good performance of India in Kargil War, in the 1999 general elections, the BJP-led NDA won 303 seats out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. On 13 October 1999, Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of India for the third time.

Vajpayee's government introduced many reforms. The private sector was encouraged and foreign investments were allowed. Research and development were given good encouragement Some government-owned corporations were privatized. The National Highways Development Project and Pradhan Mantra Gram Sadak Yojana are noteworthy projects. In 2001, the Vajpayee government launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan campaign, for improving the quality of education in primary and secondary schools. In 2004 general elections NDA couldn't win the majority seats and lost to Congress-led UPA and Vajpayee resigned as Prime Minister. In December 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement from active politics. Vajpayee was called as the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a speech in the Rajya Sabha.

Personal life

He remained unmarried throughout his life. He adopted Namita Bhattacharya, the daughter of his long-time friend Rajkumari Kaul. His adopted family lived with him and the daughter only performed his last rituals. He was a noted poet in Hindi. His published works include Kaidi kaviraj ki kundalini and Amar Aag Hai. Even though he born into a Brahmin family he used to like whisky and non-vegetarian food more. Vajpayee suffered a heart attack in 2009 and lost his speech. He stopped attending public functions and meetings and restricted himself to his house only. On 11 June 2018, Vajpayee was admitted to AIIMS in critical condition following a kidney infection and died there at 5:05 PM IST on 16 August 2018 at the age of 93.


Vajpayee has earned a very good name as a good parliamentarian. He was honored with Padamavibhushan in 1992 and Bharat Ratna in 2015. He was elected to Lok Shaba 10 times and twice to Rajya Sabha. The Narendra Modi government declared in 2014 that Vajpayee's birthday, 25th December would be marked as Good Governance Day. He was a towering personality without any enemies and was very well known as Ajata Satru. We see very rarely such personalities in today's politics. Today all the people in the ruling including The President, Vice President, Prime Minister and many of his ministerial colleagues are the disciples of this great personality. He was a rare politician who never got back on his principles and treated politics as a service but not as a profession.


Author: Reena Upadhya06 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 10

The author has very nicely narrated the early and personal life of Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. His tribute to our great leader deserves appreciation.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a lovable personality. He was loved by the people not only in India but throughout the world. He used to value his opinions. He carefully listened to every right thought and voices lingering in his mind. He was a great leader as he always put his country before himself and also before the party which he was representing.

We all will remember him. Though his body has left the world, his soul will always remain alive in the hearts of every person who loves this country. He was a man of principles. He was a leader known to imbibe leadership qualities right from the beginning. He was nothing like any other politician. Rather he would be considered as more of a leader and less of a politician. He was a man of ethics and stood by the side of truth.

According to Socrates, the people of a country will always seek justice in case the poet becomes the king of the State. Atalji was a great poet and now we can see the truth beneath the statement of Socrates. He always spoke the truth and we all know how bitter the truth is. Thus, he used to seek the attention and respect of members of the opposing parties.

He was the only leader in the modern times who favored the progress of his country instead of favoring the progress of the party. Thus, he earned honor and respect from everyone and had a perfect image of a great gentleman. We all are proud of him as he made our country proud. He will always remain with us. Every politician should follow him in true spirit.

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