Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Biography, Political Career & Death

29 Sep 2022  Read 2242 Views

"Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the man of the masses; the man who was always lauded as a statesman politician; the man who was always ready to go beyond his political agenda for the greater good and whatnot."

Firm in his political convictions, he became the Prime Minister of India and was elected twice, in 1996 and 1999, as the head of a new coalition government, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). After the 1996 general election of the Lok Sabha, the BJP emerged as the largest party in the Lok Sabha. Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister for a short period during this time, i.e., only 13 days in 1996.  He finds a place amongst the longest-serving Prime Ministers who changed the face of India. The longest-serving PM of our country was:

  • Jawaharlal Nehru (4 times)

  • Indira Gandhi (3 times)

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee (3 times)

  • Manmohan Singh (2 times)

  • Narendra Modi (2 times)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Biography & Political life

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee birth - Shri Vajpayee was born in the family of a school teacher on 25th December 1924, in the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior (now a part of the Madhya Pradesh).

  • He was a member of the BJP and was also known for his great oratory skills. Apart from being a politician, he was an acclaimed writer who wrote several poems. 

  • He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a volunteer in 1930 and even joined the Quit India Movement as a student leader in 1942.

  • In 1947, Vajpayee started working as a newspaper journalist for Deendayal Upadhyaya — Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly), and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. Later, influenced by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Vajpayee joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951.

  • He became a veteran Parliamentarian whose career expanded more than four decades. He had been elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and to the Rajya Sabha twice, i.e., a record by itself.

  • The Narendra Modi-led government declared his birthday, the 25th of December, as “Good Governance Day”. 

  • He was the first non-congress political leader who became the Prime Minister of India for a full five- years term.

  • A few people might know that he was also one of those who went to jail during the JP Narayan movement when the Indira Gandhi government declared an emergency. 

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani, and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat founded the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 and was appointed its first president. 

  • In the 1984 elections, after the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi, BJP managed to win only two seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha. This defeat hit Vajpayee personally, so he worked tirelessly to build the party; in the 1989 elections, the BJP won 88 seats. 

  • When he failed to return to power after the 2004 general elections, it marked the end of his long political career. A year later, he left active politics.

  • After his enormous service to the nation, he died on August 16, 2018. His rise in public life is a tribute to both his political acumen & Indian democracy.

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee death- He died in 2018 of an age-related illness

Who is Atal Bihari Vajpayee?

Altogether, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been the Prime Minister of India, Foreign Minister, Chairperson of several important Standing Committees of Parliament, and even the Leader of the Opposition; apart from these, he has also been an active participant in shaping India’s domestic and foreign policy after independence. Upon his death, thousands of people paid their respects & a seven-day state mourning was announced by the central government across India when the national flag flew half-mast.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Career

Atal Bihari Vajpayee first came in contact with nationalist politics when he was a student and joined the Quit India Movement of 1942, which adhered to putting an end to British colonial rule. He was a political science and law student in college when he developed a keen interest in foreign affairs and nourished this field; then, he used his knowledge and skills to represent India at various multilateral and bilateral fora.

  • Shri Vajpayee had embarked on becoming a journalist, cut short in 1951 when he joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of today’s BJP, the leading component of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). 

  • He was conferred with India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, for his selfless dedication to India and his more than half a century of service to society and the nation. 

After going through his life, career, and political journey, let’s also discuss this great man’s awards & achievements as a synopsis.

Awards and achievements of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • In 1992, he was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to the country.

  • In 1994, he was recognized as the best Parliamentarian.

  • In 1998, the world was highly unaware when India did its first official nuclear tests in Rajasthan's Pokhran. The underground tests demonstrated the country's scientific capacity and reflected the courage of Vajpayee's leadership.

  • In 2015, Vajpayee was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 186 Post(s)

Kakoli Nath is a legal Content Manager at Finology Legal who pursued BBA.LL.B (5 years integrated course). She is a patent analyst & had also done advanced certification in Forensics Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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