One of the most prolific politicians in India and a brilliant statesman in his own right, who paved way for alternative politics in the Indian governance, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s demise after a long battle with illness left the whole nation in mourning. He was cremated at the Vijay Ghat with full military honors by his adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya, displaying the beauty of the inclusive Sanatan culture that is the soul of India.
For those who are unaware, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of the founding fathers of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which later evolved into the Bharatiya Janata Party, the current ruling party in the Central Government. A prolific poet cum journalist, he was successfully elected to the Parliament 10 times and also became the 1st Prime Minister of India, who was not from the Congress party, to have successfully completed a 5 year term in office.
He retired from active life following a stroke in 2009 and breathed his last on 16 August 2018 at AIIMS, New Delhi, owing to age related complications. He was 93 years old and was recently awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, for his impeccable service to the nation in early 2015.
Tributes flowed from every nook and corner. While most of the nation declared a holiday on 17th of August in his memory, the Central Government has declared a national mourning for one whole week, during which all the national flags stationed at the government offices shall be flown on half-mast. Scores of obituaries were posted on social media, remembering his bold reforms as well as his impeccable personality, which never compromised on the ideals.
However, what stands out is a sudden change of reforms undertaken by Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the incumbent CM of Madhya Pradesh, who has declared that 3 of the state awards will now be named after the honorable ex PM. They shall be given out for outstanding contribution in the following fields:-
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday announced that the state government will name three awards after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on August 16.
Speaking at an event Shivraj Singh Chauhan said, “ We will name three awards after Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. One will be for poets; the second will be for the outstanding contribution in the field of journalism, and third for good work in administration.”
In a country, where almost everything is named after the Gandhi Nehru dynasty, it is heartening to see some rewards named after a person, who did not refrain from risking everything he had to see a brighter, bolder India shining on the horizon of the world.
From hoodwinking America with successful nuclear tests at Pokhran, to giving it back to a backstabbing Pakistan in style through Kargil war and Operation Parakram, as well as empowering the young minds of the nation through his brilliant Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has delivered it all. The best tribute to his legacy would be a Congress mukt India, as we undergo the general elections in 2019. What we suffered in 2004, should not happen again in 2019.