End of an era

One of the greatest Prime Ministers of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was loved and admired by people of India, passed away on Thursday evening. The 93-year-old had been ailing for some time and on June 11 was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences suffering a range of illnesses, where his condition deteriorated. Known for his engaging speeches, Vajpayee is credited for overseeing sweeping policy changes in telecommunications, education and privatization of state-run firms. He will be remembered for his repeated efforts at talks with neighbor Pakistan, improved relations with the U.S. and India’s second nuclear weapons test in 1998, more than two decades after the first detonation in 1974. Late PM also made serious attempt to resolve Kashmir issue.
But what distinguished Vajpayee from rest was his ability to charmingly disarm even his fiercest rivals. Though he was associated with Hindu hard-line political outfit like Jana Sangh and its later avatar BJP, he was loved and respected by people from all walks of life. Infact even Kashmiri separatist accepted his offer of talks which was a rare achievement, though talks failed. In this present era where politicians treat each other as enemies and not rivals, the passing away of Vajpayee has left deep void which may never be filled. He rose to political prominence during the dominant era of Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and perhaps that’s why he became realist in the later stage of his career. Many believed that he was influenced by Nehruvian ideology. After becoming PM he took everyone on board and became ray of hope for every Indian irrespective of region, religion, caste, creed etc. The mother India will forever miss one of its most celebrated children.