Monday, Sep 24, 2018 | Last Update : 05:41 PM IST

RIP Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018)

THE ASIAN AGE.

Published : Aug 16, 2018, 1:17 pm IST
Updated : Sep 6, 2018, 5:20 pm IST
A journalist, a poet, a politician and Prime Minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was many things at once. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)
A journalist, a poet, a politician and Prime Minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was many things at once. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)
His life and times is best encapsulated in what he once said of his poetry: “My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier's drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior's will to win. It is not the dispirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.”(Photo: YouTube screengrab)
His life and times is best encapsulated in what he once said of his poetry: “My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier's drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior's will to win. It is not the dispirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.”(Photo: YouTube screengrab)
India’s Bharat Ratna (conferred in 2015), Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India thrice – for 13 days in 1996, then 11 months from 1998 to 1999 and then a full term from 1998 to 2004. He was the first non-Congress politician to have served a full term. (Photo :PTI)
India’s Bharat Ratna (conferred in 2015), Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India thrice – for 13 days in 1996, then 11 months from 1998 to 1999 and then a full term from 1998 to 2004. He was the first non-Congress politician to have served a full term. (Photo :PTI)
Vajpayee was the first non-Congress politician to have served a full term. (In this photo, PM Modi when he was CM of Gujarat greets Atal Bihari Vajpayee) (Photo: www.narendramodi.in)
Vajpayee was the first non-Congress politician to have served a full term. (In this photo, PM Modi when he was CM of Gujarat greets Atal Bihari Vajpayee) (Photo: www.narendramodi.in)
Vajpayee was a Member of Parliament for four decades, being elected to the Lower House 10 times and twice to the Rajya Sabha. (In this photo, former Prime Minister IK Gujral with former PM Vajpayee at a book release function in New Delhi in September 2004.) (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee was a Member of Parliament for four decades, being elected to the Lower House 10 times and twice to the Rajya Sabha.  (In this photo, former Prime Minister IK Gujral with former PM Vajpayee at a book release function in New Delhi in September 2004.) (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee was among the founders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also headed it from 1968 to 1972. He served as Minister of External Affairs when Morarji Desai was Prime Minister. (Sushma Swaraj is seen greeting former PM and party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday) (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee was among the founders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also headed it from 1968 to 1972. He served as Minister of External Affairs when Morarji Desai was Prime Minister. (Sushma Swaraj is seen greeting former PM and party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday) (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee retired from active politics in 2009 due to failing health. (BJP leader L K Advani greets former Prime Minister and party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday) (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee retired from active politics in 2009 due to failing health. (BJP leader L K Advani greets former Prime Minister and party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday) (Photo: PTI)
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics in an address in the Rajya Sabha. (Former PM Manmohan Singh greets former Prime Minister and BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday) (Photo: PTI)
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics in an address in the Rajya Sabha. (Former PM Manmohan Singh greets former Prime Minister and BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 85th birthday)  (Photo: PTI)
Under his leadership when he was Prime Minister for the second term, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, Rajasthan, 24 years after the first tests in 1978. (Seen with A.P. J. Abdul Kalam in 2002) (Photo: AFP)
Under his leadership when he was Prime Minister for the second term, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, Rajasthan, 24 years after the first tests in 1978. (Seen with A.P. J. Abdul Kalam in 2002) (Photo: AFP)
A man of great stature and few words, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 is commemorated as Good Governance Day. (Children greeting the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday in 2004.) (Photo: PTI)
A man of great stature and few words, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 is commemorated as Good Governance Day.  (Children greeting the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday in 2004.) (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with his grand-daughter Niharika on his 84th birthday. (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with his grand-daughter Niharika on his 84th birthday. (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee moved ahead full throttle to establish a new level of diplomatic negotiations with Pakistan. He inaugurated the historic Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999, which became a significant step towards deescalating tension with Pakistan, keeping Kashmir in mind. (In this picture, former PM Vajpayee with former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.) (Photo: AP)
 Vajpayee moved ahead full throttle to establish a new level of diplomatic negotiations with Pakistan. He inaugurated the historic Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999, which became a significant step towards deescalating tension with Pakistan, keeping Kashmir in mind. (In this picture, former PM Vajpayee with former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.) (Photo: AP)
PM Vajpayee with Sridevi and Aishwarya Rai in Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
PM Vajpayee with Sridevi and Aishwarya Rai in Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee supporting a Arab head gear as a delegation of Haj pilgrim called on him. (Photo: PTI)
Vajpayee supporting a Arab head gear as a delegation of Haj pilgrim called on him. (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with a child on the occasion of Holi festival. (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with a child on the occasion of Holi festival. (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with actor Vinod Khanna. (Photo: PTI)
Former PM Vajpayee with actor Vinod Khanna. (Photo: PTI)
Chandrashekhar, former PM is seen along with Vajpayee and H N Bahuguna(right). (Photo: PTI)
Chandrashekhar, former PM is seen along with Vajpayee and H N Bahuguna(right). (Photo: PTI)
In this Nov 24, 2005, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (3rd from R) is seen with other NDA leaders at a swearing-in ceremony in Patna. (Photo: PTI)
 In this Nov 24, 2005, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (3rd from R) is seen with other NDA leaders at a swearing-in ceremony in Patna. (Photo: PTI)
In this May 20, 1998, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits the nuclear test site in Pokhran. (Photo: PTI)
In this May 20, 1998, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits the nuclear test site in Pokhran. (Photo: PTI)
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth at a meeting in Chennai. (Photo: PTI)
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth at a meeting in Chennai.  (Photo: PTI)
In this Feb 23, 2005, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray at a book release function in Mumbai. (Photo: PTI)
In this Feb 23, 2005, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray at a book release function in Mumbai. (Photo: PTI)
In this Jan 6, 2004, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Pakistani PM Zaffarullah Khan Jamali and the then Bangladeshi PM Khaleda Zia at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad. (Photo: PTI)
In this Jan 6, 2004,  former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Pakistani PM Zaffarullah Khan Jamali and the then Bangladeshi PM Khaleda Zia at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad.  (Photo: PTI)
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Tags: BJP, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM Modi, APJ Abdul Kalam, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj