It is a sad day for the nation as one of India’s greatest leaders and former prime minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away at AIIMS in Delhi on Thursday. Atal Ji, 93 was admitted to AIIMS in June and had ailing for a long time.
“Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today,” the statement read.
Known for his powerful oratory and poetry, Vajpayee, one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), served as prime minister for 13 days in 1996, 13 months (1998-99) at the head of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and then for a full five-year term (1999-2004).
He had announced his retirement from electoral politics in 2005 and withdrew further from public life in 2009 after suffering a stroke that weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia.
In June, the team of doctors treating Vajpayee said, “he has been suffering from a lower respiratory tract infection and kidney-related ailments.”
A diabetic, having only one functional kidney, he was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 11 with kidney tract infection, chest congestion, urinary tract infection and urine output on the lower side.
Born in Gwalior on December 25, 1924, Atal Ji joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1939, and in 1951, was second to its political wing, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He steadily rose in its hierarchy and became its national president in 1968.
Imprisoned along with other opposition leaders during the Emergency (1975-77), he merged the Jana Sangh into the newly-formed Janata Party to fashion a common front against the Congress in the 1977 elections. He subsequently served as Minister of External Affairs in the Morarji Desai government.
After the Janata Party’s collapse, Vajpayee, along with long-time associate LK Advani and others, set up the BJP in 1980. A parliamentarian for over four decades, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2015.
Since morning, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders had been visiting the hospital.
At the BJP headquarters in Delhi, decorations put up for Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday were taken down as a somber note took over.
LK Advani, one of Mr. Vajpayee’s closest colleagues and his deputy in the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, was among the visitors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital twice in 24 hours and top politicians from across parties arrived at the former prime minister’s health worsened on Wednesday.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said, “Vajpayee Ji is in the hospital and we pray for him”. He said this while addressing the gathering at ‘Sanjhi Virasat Bachao Sammelan’ in New Delhi.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Quotes –
1. You can change friends but not neighbors.
2. We hope the world will act in the spirit of enlightened self-interest.
3. Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash in developed countries.
4. Our nuclear weapons are meant purely as a deterrent against nuclear adventure by an adversary.
5. No state should be allowed to profess partnership with the global coalition against terror while continuing to aid, abet and sponsor terrorism.
6. The Bio-diversity Convention has not yielded any tangible benefits to the world’s poor.
7. In the euphoria after the Cold War, there was a misplaced notion that the UN could solve every problem anywhere.
8. The reality is that international institutions like the UN can only be as effective as its members allow it to be.
9. 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.
उजियारे में, अंधकार में,
कल कहार में, बीच धार में,
घोर घृणा में, पूत प्यार में,
क्षणिक जीत में, दीर्घ हार में,
जीवन के शत-शत आकर्षक,
अरमानों को ढलना होगा.
कदम मिलाकर चलना होगा.
सम्मुख फैला अगर ध्येय पथ,
प्रगति चिरंतन कैसा इति अब,
सुस्मित हर्षित कैसा श्रम श्लथ,
असफल, सफल समान मनोरथ,
सब कुछ देकर कुछ न मांगते,
पावस बनकर ढलना होगा.
कदम मिलाकर चलना होगा.
कुछ कांटों से सज्जित जीवन,
प्रखर प्यार से वंचित यौवन,
नीरवता से मुखरित मधुबन,
परहित अर्पित अपना तन-मन,
जीवन को शत-शत आहुति में,
जलना होगा, गलना होगा.
क़दम मिलाकर चलना होगा.
अटल जी आज हमारे बीच में नहीं रहे, लेकिन उनकी प्रेरणा, उनका मार्गदर्शन, हर भारतीय को, हर भाजपा कार्यकर्ता को हमेशा मिलता रहेगा। ईश्वर उनकी आत्मा को शांति प्रदान करे और उनके हर स्नेही को ये दुःख सहन करने की शक्ति दे। ओम शांति !
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
All of us who knew Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee are saddened to hear of his passing away. He was a great leader with a great sense of compassion and humor. He will be remembered fondly by a vast number of us.
— Ratan N. Tata (@RNTata2000) August 16, 2018
Very very saddened that the great statesman and former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji is no more with us. His passing away is a very big loss to our nation. I will always cherish the many fond memories. Condolences to his family and his many admirers
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 16, 2018
Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him. #AtalBihariVajpayee
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2018
Pained beyond words at the demise of Shri Atalji. He had cherished the ideal of a developed and powerful India in which all persons lived together in unity, peace and harmony.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 16, 2018
पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री व भारतीय राजनीति की महान विभूति श्री अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी के
देहावसान से मुझे बहुत दुख हुआ है। विलक्षण नेतृत्व, दूरदर्शिता तथा अद्भुत भाषण उन्हें
एक विशाल व्यक्तित्व प्रदान करते थे।उनका विराट व स्नेहिल व्यक्तित्व हमारी स्मृतियों में बसा रहेगा—राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 16, 2018