Atal Bihari Vajpayee, arguably India’s finest orator is also a great leader admired across all party lines. Here are five instances where he proved that he's one of the finest politicians of all time
Admired widely as a national leader, there is no match to his oratory skills and statesmanship. Even in non-Hindi speaking States, he was respected by his political opponents. In Tamil Nadu, Annadurai led a powerful anti-Hindi agitation. He said that he would welcome Hindi if the language was as charming as the one spoken by "my friend Vajpayee".
Vajpayee was associated with RSS and was mentored by Jana Sangh ideologues like Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. However, on August 2, 1979, he penned down an article titled "All responsible for the Janata crisis" in The Indian Express, questioning the RSS. He wrote, “Why does it (RSS) not open its doors to non-Hindus?” He was not just a Hindu leader; he rose above community.
At the BJP's founding conference in Mumbai in 1980, Vajpayee invited as chief guest a Muslim — Mohammed Currim Chagla — former justice of the Supreme Court and thus broke all the stereotypes of BJP being a Hindu party.
Vajpayee also had a great sense of humour. During an election meeting in Gujarat, the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi claimed to be the daughter of Uttar Pradesh and daughter-in-law of Gujarat. To which, Vajpayee replied with his quick wit and humour, “She is also the mother-in-law of Italy,” which had everyone in splits.
Vajpayee made India a nuclear weapons power. His foreign policy was one of the most celebrated one. He also made attempts to make peace with long-time rival Pakistan and launched a bus service to Lahore. He invited Pakistan's military dictator General Pervez Musharraf for the Agra summit
Last Updated 9:23 AM IST