Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The former prime Minister of india Atal Bihari Vajpayee is one of the most revered personalities in the post independent political life of the country. He has been center of attraction for his followers and opponents equally. Many ideologically opponents praised his political , social and humanitarian philosophy of life. There is hardly any media person in the country who dislikes Vajpayee. It is a great lesson for the politicians of the country who are now engaged in bitter tongue war. Vajpayee began his public career as a journalist. He was associated with one national daily "Veer Arjun" published from Delhi. Veteran journalist K Narendra was its editor. In early's 50's it was a popular daily. Vajpayee had served the paper as an assistant editor in early 50's before he joined hand with Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.

Although the paper lost its vigour, popularity and circulation to the extent that it is hardly seen on newspaper stands, Vajpayee's first love continues to dominate on his psyche. when he was the Prime Minister , Veer Arjun was a part of his selected newspapers which he essentially used to read. even now, when he is recovering from his illness , this paper is a part of reading material.

with such a rich legacy will Anil Narendra , the editor and publisher of the paper introspect why did the paper decline? In the Hindi journalism there is no newspaper which can confront the secularist ideology, propaganda based news reporting and highly prejudiced editorial writings. It is both an opportunity as well as a challenge for the publisher of the Veer Arjun to resurrect it and replay its historic role. Will he do it ?

Atal Ji's Family

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born to Smt Krishna Devi and Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25 December 1924 in a Brahmin family. His birthplace was Shinde Ki Chhavani, a town in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh (then known as Central Province). Vajpayee's grandfather, Pandit Shyam Lal Vajpayee, had migrated to Gwalior from his ancestral village of Bateshwar, Uttar Pradesh. Vajpayee's father, Krishna Bihari ji, was a poet and a school teacher in his hometown. Vajpayee ji never married, becoming the first and, to date, only bachelor Prime Minister of India.

Positions Held

  • 1951 - Founder-Member, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (B.J.S)
  • 1957 - Elected to 2nd Lok Sabha
  • 1957-77 - Leader, Bharatiya Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party
  • 1962 - Member, Rajya Sabha
  • 1966-67- Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances
  • 1967 - Re-elected to 4th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
  • 1967-70 - Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
  • 1968-73 - President, B.J.S.
  • 1971 - Re-elected to 5th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
  • 1977 - Re-elected to 6th Lok Sabha (4th term)
  • 1977-79 - Union Cabinet Minister, External Affairs
  • 1977-80 - Founder- Member, Janata Party
  • 1980 - Re-elected to 7th Lok Sabha (5th term)
  • 1980-86- President, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
  • 1980-84, 1986 and 1993-96 - Leader, B.J.P. Parliamentary Party
  • 1986 - Member, Rajya Sabha; Member, General Purposes Committee
  • 1988-90 - Member, House Committee; Member, Business Advisory Committee
  • 1990-91- Chairman, Committee on Petitions
  • 1991- Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (6th term)
  • 1991-93 - Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
  • 1993-96 - Chairman, Committee on External Affairs; Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
  • 1996 - Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (7th term)
  • 16 May 1996 - 31 May 1996 - Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs and also incharge of Ministries/Departments of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Coal, Commerce, Communications, Environment and Forests, Food Processing Industries, Human Resource Development, Labour, Mines, Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Planning and Programme Implementation, Power, Railways, Rural Areas and Employment, Science and Technology, Steel, Surface Transport, Textiles, Water Resources,Atomic Energy, Electronics, Jammu & Kashmir Affairs, Ocean Development, Space and other subjects not allocated to any other Cabinet Minister
  • 1996-97 - Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
  • 1997-98 - Chairman, Committee on External Affairs
  • 1998 - Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (8th term)
  • 1998-99 - Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs; and also incharge of Ministries/Department not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
  • 1999- Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (9th term)
  • 13 Oct.1999 to 13 May 2004- Prime Minister of India and also in charge ofthe Ministries/Departments not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Quotes

Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash on developed countries.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

In the euphoria after the Cold War, there was a misplaced notion that the UN could solve every problem anywhere.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

No state should be allowed to profess partnership with the global coalition against terror, while continuing to aid, abet and sponsor terrorism.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Our nuclear weapons are meant purely as a deterrent against nuclear adventure by an adversary.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

People who ask us when we will hold talks with Pakistan are perhaps not aware that over the last 55 years, every initiative for a dialogue with Pakistan has invariably come from India.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Poverty is multidimensional. It extends beyond money incomes to education, health care, political participation and advancement of one's own culture and social organisation.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The Bio-diversity Convention has not yielded any tangible benefits to the world's poor.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The overwhelming public sentiment in India was that no meaningful dialogue can be held with Pakistan until it abandons the use of terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The reality is that international institutions like the UN can only be as effective as its members allow it to be.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The UN's unique legitimacy flows from a universal perception that it pursues a larger purpose than the interests of one country or a small group of countries.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

There was an implicit conviction that the UN would be stronger than the sum of its constituent member-states.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

We believe that the United States and the rest of the international community can play a useful role by exerting influence on Pakistan to put a permanent and visible end to cross-border terrorism against India.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

We hope the world will act in the spirit of enlightened self-interest.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

You can change friends but not neighbours.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee


Purpose of my life: To play my part sincerely in every aspect of my life. And to see India take its place as a great nation.
My happiest moment : Yet to come... uptill now, the occassion when I delivered a speech in Hindi at the United Nations General Assembly.
Saddest moment : When I lost my father. My closest friends : L.K. Advani, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, N.M. Ghatate, Jaswant Singh, Dr Mukund Modi.
Clothes : 'Dhoti Kurta'... occasionally a 'Pathani' Suit.
Favourite colour : Blue. My favourite places : Manali, Almora and Mount Abu.
My favourite food : Fish and Chinese Cuisine. 'Khichdi', 'Kheer' and 'Malpua' .
My favourite eating joints in Delhi : 'Paranthewali Gali', 'Sagar' and 'Chungwa'.
My favourite singers and instrumentalists : Bhimsen Joshi(Vocalist), Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod Maestro) and Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Flautist).
My favourite songs : "O Re Maanjhi" rendered by S.D. Burman...and "Kabhi Kabhi mere Dil Mein" by Mukesh\Lata Mangeshkar.
My favourite singers : Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi.
My favourite films (Hindi) : 'Devdas', 'Bandini' & 'Teesri Kasam'.
My favourite film (English) : 'Bridge Over River Kwai', 'Born Free' and 'Gandhi'.
My favourite poets : Surykanth Tripathi Nirala, Bal Krishna Sharma Naveen, Jagannath Prasad Milind in Hindi and Faiz Ahmad Faiz in Urdu.
My favourite sports : Hockey and Football.

Bio-Data of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Personal Profile

Father's Name Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee
Date of Birth 25 December 1924
Place of Birth Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
Marital Status Unmarried
Educational Qualifications M.A. (Political Science)
Educated at Victoria (now Laxmibai) College, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) and D.A.V. College, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
Profession Journalist and Social Worker
Permanent Address A-302, Laplaz, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
Present Address 6-A, Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi-110011

Atal Bihari Vajpayee - Political Career

Elected leader of the National Democratic Alliance, which is a pre-election coming together of political parties from different regions of the country and which enjoyed a comfortable backing and support of the elected Members of the 13th Lok Sabha, Shri Vajpayee was earlier elected leader of his own Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party which has also again emerged as the single largest party in the 13th Lok Sabha as was the case in the 12th Lok Sabha.

Educated at Victoria (now Laxmi Bai) College, Gwalior and DAV College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Vajpayee holds an M.A (Political Science) degree and has many literary, artistic and scientific accomplishments to his credit. He edited Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. His published works include "Meri Sansadiya Yatra" (in four volumes), "Meri Ikkyavan Kavitayen", "Sankalp Kaal", "Shakti-se-Shanti", "Four Decades in Parliament" (speeches in three volumes), 1957-95, "Lok Sabha mein Atalji" (a collection of speeches); Mrityu Ya Hatya", "Amar Balidan", "Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian" (a collection of poems written in jail during Emergency); "New Dimensions of India's Foreign Policy" (a collection of speeches delivered as External Affairs Minister during 1977-79); "Jan Sangh Aur Mussalman"; "Sansad Mein Teen Dashak" (Hindi) (speeches in Parliament - 1957-1992 - three volumes; and "Amar Aag Hai" (a collection of poems) 1994.

Shri Vajpayee has participated in various social and cultural activities. He has been a Member of the National Integration Council since 1961. Some of his other associations include - (i) President, All India Station Masters and Assistant Station Masters Association (1965-70); (ii) Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smarak Samiti (1968-84); (iii) Deen Dayal Dham, Farah, Mathura, U.P; and (iv) Janmabhomi Smarak Samiti, 1969 onwards.

Founder-member of the erstwhile Jana Sangh (1951), President, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1968-1973), leader of the Jana Sangh parliamentary party (1955-1977) and a founder-member of the Janata Party (1977-1980), Shri Vajpayee was President, BJP (1980-1986) and the leader of BJP parliamentary party during 1980-1984, 1986 and 1993-1996. He was Leader of the Opposition throughout the term of the 11th Lok Sabha. Earlier, he was India's External Affairs Minister in the Morarji Desai Government from March 24, 1977 to July 28, 1979.

Widely respected within the country and abroad as a statesman of the genre of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Shri Vajpayee's 1998-99 stint as Prime Minister has been characterised as 'one year of courage of conviction'. It was during this period that India entered a select group of nations following a series of successful nuclear tests at Pokharan in May 1998. The bus journey to Pakistan in February 1999 was widely acclaimed for starting a new era of negotiations to resolve the outstanding problems of the sub-continent. India's honesty made an impact on the world community. Later, when this gesture of friendship turned out to be a betrayal of faith in Kargil, Shri Vajpayee was also hailed for his successful handling of the situation in repulsing back the intruders from the Indian soil. It was during Shri Vajpayee's 1998-99 tenure that despite a global recession, India achieved 5.8 per cent GDP growth, which was higher than the previous year. Higher agricultural production and increase in foreign exchange reserves during this period were indicative of a forward-looking economy responding to the needs of the people. "We must grow faster. We simply have no other alternative" has been Shri Vajpayee's slogan focussing particularly on economic empowerment of the rural poor. The bold decisions taken by his Government for strengthening rural economy, building a strong infrastructure and revitalising the human development programmes, fully demonstrated his Government's commitment to a strong and self-reliant nation to meet the challenges of the next millennium to make India an economic power in the 21st century. Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 52nd Independence Day, he had said, "I have a vision of India : an India free of hunger and fear, an India free of illiteracy and want."

Shri Vajpayee has served on a number of important Committees of Parliament. He was Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances (1966-67); Chairman, Public Accounts Committee (1967-70); Member, General Purposes Committee (1986); Member, House Committee and Member, Business Advisory Committee, Rajya Sabha (1988-90); Chairman, Committee on Petitions, Rajya Sabha (1990-91); Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Lok Sabha (1991-93); Chairman, Standing Committee on External Affairs (1993-96).

Shri Vajpayee participated in the freedom struggle and went to jail in 1942. He was detained during Emergency in 1975-77.

Widely travelled, Shri Vajpayee has been taking a keen interest in international affairs, upliftment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, women and child welfare. Some of his travels abroad include visits such as - Member, Parliamentary Goodwill Mission to East Africa, 1965; Parliamentary Delegation to Australia, 1967; European Parliament, 1983; Canada, 1987; Indian delegation to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings held in Canada, 1966 and 1994, Zambia, 1980, Isle of Man 1984, Indian delegation to Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, Japan, 1974; Sri Lanka, 1975; Switzerland, 1984; Indian Delegation to the UN General Assembly, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994; Leader, Indian Delegation to the Human Rights Commission Conference, Geneva, 1993.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee - Awards & Recognitions

Shri Vajpayee was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 1992 in recognition of his services to the nation. He was also conferred the Lokmanya Tilak Puruskar and the Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Award for the Best Parliamentarian, both in 1994. Earlier, the Kanpur University honoured him with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in 1993.

Well known and respected for his love for poetry and as an eloquent speaker, Shri Vajpayee is known to be a voracious reader. He is fond of Indian music and dance.

The Rise Of The BJP

Morarji Desai resigned as Prime Minister in 1979, and the Janata Party was dissolved soon after. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh had devoted its political organization to sustain the coalition, and was left exhausted by the internecine political wars within the Janata Party. Atal Bihari Vajpayee joined many BJS and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) colleagues, particularly his long-time and close friends Lal Krishna Advani and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, to found the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980. Vajpayee was made the BJP's first President, and became a strong critic of the Congress (I) government that followed the rule of the Janata Party. While the BJP opposed the Sikh militancy that was rising in the state of Punjab, it also blamed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for divisive and corrupt politics that fostered such militancy at expense of the nation. Leader Darasingh opines that Vajpayee thus "brought in Hindu-Sikh harmony."[9] The BJP did not support Operation Bluestar, and strongly protested against the violence towards Sikhs in Delhi that broke out in 1984 following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards. During this bloody period, more than 3,000 Sikhs were massacred. Vajpayee was commended for protecting Sikhs against Indian National Congress supporters seeking to avenge the death of Gandhi.[citation needed] The BJP was left with only two parliamentary seats in the 1984 elections; however, the party had established itself in the mainstream of Indian politics, and soon began expanding its organization to attract young Indians throughout the country. During this period, Vajpayee remained center-stage as party President and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. The BJP became the political voice of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Movement, which was led by activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the RSS, and which sought to build a temple dedicated to Rama at the site of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Hindu activists believed the site was the birthplace of Rama, and thus qualified as one of the most sacred sites of Hinduism. Victory in the assembly elections in Gujarat and Maharashtra in March 1995, and a good performance in the elections to the Karnataka assembly in December 1994, propelled the BJP to greater political prominence. During a BJP conference in Mumbai in November 1995, BJP President L.K. Advani declared that Vajpayee would be the Prime Minister of India if the BJP won May 1996 parliamentary elections.

Later Career

In December 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement from active politics, declaring that he would not participate in the next general election. At a rally in the western city of Mumbai, Vajpayee said "I will not participate in any electoral politics. There are many other leaders to take forward the work which I and other senior leaders have been doing. In a now famous statement at the BJP's silver Jubilee rally at Mumbai's historic Shivaji Park, Vajpayee announced that "from now onwards, Lal Krishna Advani and Pramod Mahajan will be the Ram-Laxman (the two godly brothers much revered and worshipped by Hindus) of the BJP."[17] Vajpayee was referred to as The Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Politics by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his speech in the Rajya Sabha.[18] Vajpayee was hospitalized at AIIMS for chest infection and fever and on 6 February 2009 he was put on ventilator as his conditioned worsened. It may be noted that at 84, he does not have diabetes or high blood pressure and he is on one kidney for the past 25 years.Vajpayee underwent several knee replacement surgeries during the 90's.[19] Unable to participate in the campaign for the 2009 general election due to his health, he wrote a letter urging voters in his Lucknow constituency to back BJP candidate Lalji Tandon. Finally Lalji Tandon was able to retain the Lucknow seat of Vajpayee even though NDA suffered electoral reverses in that state by just managing to win 15 of the total 80 seats. The tall apolitical image of Vajpayee was said to be the main reason behind Lalji's success in Lucknow even though BJP's position was poor in Uttar Pradesh.[20]

Vajpayee-Advani Duo

Through the 90s and the first few years of the 21st century, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-LK Advani combination steered the BJP to heights it had never before witnessed. Their political relationship provided stability, continuity, experience and authority to a party that was beginning even then, to severely lack a solid second-rung. As Advani himself acknowledged, rarely do two political leaders share such a bond, a working relationship that allows them both to thrive and grow without disturbing the fine balance of that bond. Vajpayee, the poet-Prime Minister and Advani as his able and trusted lieutenant, brought depth and gravity to the BJP leadership. It still is, and will be in many ways, the gold standard to which the BJP will hold itself for many years to come.


  • 1992, Padma Vibhushan
  • 1993, D.Lit from Kanpur University
  • 1994, Lokmanya Tilak Award
  • 1994, Best Parliamentarian Award
  • 1994, Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award

Social and Political

  • Nayi chunauti, naya avasara (Hindi Edition). (2002).
  • India's Perspectives on ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region. (2003).
  • Decisive days. (1999).
  • When will atrocities on Harijans stop?: A.B. Vajpayee's speech in Rajya Sabha. (1988).
  • Heal the wounds: Vajpayee's appeal on Assam tragedy to the parliament. (1983).
  • National integration. (1961).
  • Sakti se santi. (1999).
  • Rajaniti ki rapatili rahem. (1997).
  • Vicara-bindu (Hindi Edition). (2000).
  • Bindu-bindu vicara. (1997).
  • Kucha lekha, kucha bhashana. (1996).
  • Back to square one. (1998).
  • Dynamics of an open society. (1977).
  • Na dainyam na palayanam (Hindi Edition). (1998).
  • Bindu-bindu vicara (Hindi Edition). (1997).
  • Kucha lekha, kucha bhashana (Hindi Edition). (1996).
  • Sekyularavada: Bharatiya parikalpana (Da. Rajendra Prasada Smaraka vyakhyanamala). (1996).


  • Twenty-One Poems. (2003).
  • Kya khoya kya paya: Atala Vihari Vajapeyi, vyaktitva aura kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1999).
  • Meri ikyavana kavitaem. (1995).
  • Meri ikyavana kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1995).
  • Sreshtha kabita. (1997).
  • Nayi Disha - an album with Jagjit Singh (1999)
  • Samvedna - an album with Jagjit Singh (2002)