Our beloved Former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was critically ill. His health was down for a couple of months now. He is recuperating & we can expect him to get well soon. We must reflect on what Mr Vajpayee has contributed to as a Prime Minister of India. In this article, you will get to know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Early Life, Career Journey, his big & bold decisions taken while he was serving as Prime Minister & more!
Atal Bihari Vajpayee – An Introduction
• Atal Bihari Vajpayee is an Indian politician who was the 10th Prime Minister of India, serving three terms; the 1st term for 13 days in 1996, the 2nd term for 13 months from 1998-99 and the final term, from 1999 to 2004.
• He is the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full 5-year term.
• Currently, aged 93, Mr Vajpayee is the oldest living former Indian Prime Minister.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee & his Early Life
• Mr. Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior, to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee.
• He did his graduation from Gwalior’s Victoria College and post-graduation with an M.A. in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, with a first-class degree.
Political Career of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
• He became Minister of External Affairs in 1977 and was the 1st person to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi.
• Vajpayee formed the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980.
Big & Bold Decisions taken by Vajpayee
During his term as Prime Minister, he made some very brave and bold decisions. Do you want to know about them?
#1. Pokhran Test
• In May 1998, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan, 24 yrs after India conducted its first nuclear test (Smiling Buddha) in 1974.
• This test is called Pokhran-II.
• But, two weeks later, Pakistan conducted its own nuclear tests.
• The response of the world leaders was a mixed one but the Pokhran nuclear tests were popular in India.
#2. Lahore Summit
• Vajpayee initiated a new peace process to end disputes with Pakistan, with the historic inauguration of the Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999.
• The result was the Lahore Declaration which initiated talks, expanded trade relations and mutual friendship between the two nations and also eased the tension created by the 1998 nuclear tests.
#3. Kargil War
• In May 1999, it came to Vajpayee’s notice that militants and Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley.
• Indian army was immediately sent into Kashmir in response and the mission was named Operation Vijay.
• The mission was launched in June 1999, where the Indian forces fought thousands of militants and Pakistani soldiers while facing extremely cold weather, heavy artillery shelling and deadly terrain at the high altitude.
• Many soldiers died on both sides but Pakistan suffered heavy losses, and finally, called its forces back, in July 1999.
• The victory in Kargil made the image of Vajpayee as a bold and fearless leader.
• 26 July was later designated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.
A. B. Vajpayee – Other Miscellaneous Facts
• In December 2005, Vajpayee retired from active politics.
• On 25 December 2014, the President of India announced the Bharat Ratna award, India’s highest civilian honour, to Vajpayee and his birthday, 25th December, was declared as ‘Good Governance Day’.