As the mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee were consigned to the flames, the sky reverberated with chants of “Atal Bihari amar rahe”– Long live Atalji”. People from across the country thronged the Smriti Sthal in New Delhi, where the last rite was performed, to pay respect to their beloved leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah led the last journey of Atal ji from BJP central office to Smriti Sthal walking along with a large number of people from every walk of life. Eminent personalities and politicians from India and abroad paid their respect in glowing terms. A towering personality in Indian politics, Atalji was equally loved and admired cutting across political divide within the country and beyond the borders. His long inning in politics saw him gaining love, affection and respect more and more with every passing day.
Atalji has left a unique and glorious legacy in Indian politics. He in fact represented the spirit of India where democratic traditions have shaped the socio-cultural fabric of the nation. While believing in the democratic functioning within a political party and in governance, he was quick in opposing emergency and dictatorial tendencies in politics. His nationalism was imbibed with democratic spirit wherein the diversities of Indian society were to be addressed through tradition of evolving consensus on various issues of national and international concerns. In his long parliamentary life, he was able to leave his indelible mark on important issues even while being in opposition.
It was by dint of his grasp over the various problems afflicting the nation that he tried to find solutions within the framework of national ethos and value system. A leader rooted to soil he was known for having political insights which was even valued by his political opponents. The nation had so much faith in him that in time of crisis his advice was sought even by his political adversaries. As a true son of Maa Bharati, he on occasions preferred to rise above the partisan politics as he chose to sacrifice interests of the party on the altar of national interests. When emergency was declared, Jansangh was merged with Janata Party in the national interest. As an uncompromising leader on principles and ideology, he came out of Janata Party along with his colleagues to form Bharatiya Janata Party. He had unflinching faith on principled and value based politics.
An orator par excellence, he mesmerised the masses with his magical appeal. The nation wanted to see him as prime minister and this dream was realized with the increasing support of the people in the country. As prime minster he led the country on every front with remarkable success. India emerged as a peaceful nuclear power state which became confident of itself even in the face of international economic sanctions. As a true ‘Atal’ he never buckled under pressure rather it was an opportunity for him to prove India’s internal strength at global level. He wrote a new saga of good governance and development while giving a massive boost to infrastructure sector and making India self reliant on various fronts. As he rightly said in one of his speeches, he has left ineffaceable imprints on the canvas of time. The path shown by him has become guiding light for the emerging New India.
Atal ji inspired generation after generation to contribute to the national life with intense feeling of patriotism and love for the nation. The political movement which started with the aim of giving alternative in Indian politics culminated in him as he became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India who completed his full term in office. It was a history created under his leadership and a legacy cherished by millions of people in the country. A true statesman, democrate, a leader, a consensus builder and above all he was a gentleman in politics. We pay our rich tribute to the memory of our Atalji.