(G.N.S) Dt. 25
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wished former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 93rd birthday. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi hailed the former prime minister’s “visionary leadership” and said, Birthday greetings to our beloved Atal Ji. His phenomenal as well as visionary leadership made India more developed and further raised our prestige at the world stage. I pray for his good health.” Besides the Prime Minister, Home Minister RajnathSinghh also took to Twitter to extend his greetings to the “beloved leader and guide”.
He tweeted, Warm wishes to our beloved leader and guide, Shri Atalji on his birthday today. Atalji is a towering and visionary leader who introduced good governance, development and politics of performance in Indian polity. I pray for his good health and long life. Later in the day, the prime minister and the home minister reached Vajpayee’s residence to wish him in person.
A political persona known for his exemplary leadership and contribution to Indian politics, Vajpayee is the only non-Congress leader who served the nation as the prime minister and completed his full term.
Vajpayee was born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25 December, 1924, in Gwalior. He completed his schooling from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gorkhi, Bara, Gwalior and went on to Victoria College (now Laxmi Bai College), where he graduated with distinction in Hindi, English and Sanskrit. He then completed his post-graduation with an M.A. in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, and was awarded a first-class degree.
Vajpayee’s first exposure to politics was in August 1942, when he and his elder brother Prem were arrested for 23 days during the Quit India Movement. He was released only after giving a written undertaking, expressly declaring not to participate in any of the anti-British struggle.
In 1951, he was seconded by the RSS, along with Deendayal Upadhyaya, to work for the newly formed Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a Hindu right-wing political party associated with the RSS. He was appointed as a national secretary of the party in charge of the Northern region, based in Delhi. He soon became a follower and aide of party leader Syama Prasad Mukherjee.
In 1954, Vajpayee was with Mukherjee when he went on a fast-unto-death in Kashmir to protest against perceived inferior treatment of non-Kashmiri Indian visitors to the state. Mukherjee died in prison during this strike. In 1957, Vajpayee lost to Raja Mahendra Pratap in Mathura for the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament of India, but was eventually elected from Balrampur.
Vajpayee has served as the Prime Minister of India between 1996 and 2004 in three non-consecutive terms.
A parliamentarian for over four decades, Vajpayee has been elected to the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament of India) ten times, and twice to the Rajya Sabha (upper house). He also served as the Member of Parliament for Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, until 2009, when he retired from active politics due to health concerns.
On 25 December, 2014, the office of the President of India announced the Bharat Ratna award, India’s highest civilian honour, to Vajpayee. In a special gesture, the President of India conferred Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his residence on 27 March 2015.
Furthermore, the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 announced that Vajpayee’s birthday would be celebrated as Good Governance Day annually.
(G.N.S) Dt. 25