Atal is a very unique and special Hindi word for a name. It means immovable, unwavering, unfazed, irrevocable, stable, unmoved. I guess it takes a very special person to be named Atal. He proved true to all the adjectives of his name.
The man for all seasons, a leader that every political party aspired for, a statesman par excellence, a poet extraordinaire and above all – he was a true Indian to the core and an inspiration to millions.
I have been meaning to pen down few words to pay my tribute to the gentle giant of Indian politics but it is almost impossible to write about a gifted orator of Indian Politics. I have always loved Atalji, the poet and Atalji – the patriarch of Indian Politics.
Being a 90’s kid, I was always in awe of Atal whenever he recited poems or delivered his trademark speeches with long pauses on TV. I hated watching political news on Doordarshan but was glued to it when Atalji dominated the opposition with his oratorical skills without insulting the opposition and undermining its achievements. A very rare quality which is almost extinct in present political scenario. During a debate on trust vote in Parliament, opposition leaders had said that Vajpayee was a good leader but in the wrong party. He responded by saying, “You say that Vajpayee is good, but his party is not. Then what do you intend to do with the good Vajpayee.
My sincere advise to the younger generation is to check Atalji’s speeches on youtube and I am sure that it will still give you goose bumps. There are numerous incidents in his life where he showed us how we can be a great man and a good man. Not all great men are good man!
His achievements are far too many for us mere mortals; let alone emulate them.
His personality attracted people from all walks of life, irrespective of their political differences, respected and loved him. Above all, he was a man with a very large heart and his life teaches us to be humble yet be unwavering, immoveable and be stable in the face of adversity. He always worked through tough times and carved a place for himself in Indian History which can be never be replaced.
His poems “Haar nahi manunga”, “Naye meel ka patthar”, “Aao phir se diya jalayein” are popular even today and his creations will continue to be a guiding light for his readers. With regard to his poetry he wrote, “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.”
Thank you for selfless service, Atalji ! RIP