Do You Know About Our Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and What He Achieved?


If there ever could be one of the most renown and celebrated politician in Indian History today, then it would be Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Very few politicians and statesmen have achieved what this stalwart did, in the little time he had gotten his hands on the reign for. Over the years Atal Ji had had an extremely illustrious political life, with his career reaching its top defining moments when he became the Prime Minister of India. Serving terms of 13 days in 1996 and around 13 months in 1998, he became the first prime minister who served a full five – year term without being a member or candidate from the Indian National Congress. Riding off the success and failures of the Janata Dal, along with members of the BJS, he founded the BJP in 1980 and went on building and expanding his political stratagem. The teachings he received during his time at the RSS as a Pracharak, helped shape his future leanings, the path he’d often take and also his objectives later in life.

As far as the history between the BJP and its rivals like the Congress is concerned, it is safe to say that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one who’d seen it all and transcended most of the petty bickerings that existed in political affairs. Rather, he adopted an approach to his leadership duties that helped shape a stronger Indian democracy, an India that was secular, progressive and strong with regards to defense and economy. To many in the opposition and in the media, Atal Ji was regarded as the “Bheeshm Pitamah of Indian Politics”. This was mainly because as a true statesman, he was accepted by most of his rivals, regardless of their own personal opinions and political leanings. It his core ideals and astute sense of development – based politics, in an India filled with caste and religious instability, that really changed the image of the BJP from being mainstream rightwing, to one that was respected by both rivals and allies.

Following are some of the Top Achievements of Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his Tenure:

  1. India’s Foreign Policy:

One of the most significant events in world history, the cold war had had serious repercussions for all camps and allies after it had ended. However, it was in these post – cold war years that the Vajpayee administration was able to greatly improve its foreign policies with the US by boosting trade and bilateral relations. This was earmarked by a visit from the then US president, Bill Clinton. Also, as part of his strong, unwavering foreign policy, Vajpayee was able to secure a higher level of dialogue between Indian and China, resolving border disputes while also promoting economic relations. It is here where India’s ‘Look East’ policy began where India improved its ties with South – East Asian Countries instead of relying solely on western ones.


  1. India’s Nuclear Programme:

This is perhaps one of the most highly lauded moves done during Vajpayee’s reign, one which etched him and the men who made it possible, in Indian History. Nearly 24 years later after the unsuccessful nuclear test that was Pokhran – I, Pokhran – II was conducted in May 1998, in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The test put the international community on their heels with the US intelligence reeling from one of its biggest failures ever. There were a team of engineers, military personnel and one of India’s greatest minds – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam at the helm that handled the technical aspect of getting the nuclear bomb to work. This, coupled with Vajpayee’s strategic and courageous decision making made India a nuclear state.


  1. India’s Education and Economic Policies:

India, as a developing country, had always faced and continued to fight for education in the state for all. It was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s third tenure as the PM, did he lay the foundation of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, a government program that made education for children between the ages of 6 to 14 a fundamental right. Adding to this, he also unveiled the NHDP (National Highway Development Project) with an aim to construct highways that were world – class and connected Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata – four of the major cities in India (Known as the Golden Quadrilateral). Despite natural disasters, the Kargil War, 9/11 and oil crises, the Vajpayee administration was capable of keeping the economy booming with a GDP rate of 8%, Inflation below 4%, and ample foreign exchange reserves.


  1. India’s Success with Coalition Governments:

Prior to the BJP led NDA rule in 2004, there had always been a steady, single – party government at the center. As such, at a time when politics was quite new to the concept of coalition governments, Vajpayee became the first successful leader to lead a coalition of minor parties having diverse ideologies and backgrounds and retain a strong tenure as the PM of the country. After two unsuccessful stints, it was this coalition that catapulted into him becoming the first non – Congress PM to govern for a full five – year tenure.


  1. India’s first UN speech in Hindi:


Two of the three Millitrical events that Vajpayee was known for other than the Pokhran Test, was the Kargil War and Operation Vijay. With the recently fought Kargil War with Pakistan as a backdrop, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speech at the UN was quite substantial. It was delivered in Hindi, the first time ever since India had gained independence and had had leaders speak in the UN previously in English. It was here, Vajpayee took on Pakistan’s blatant support and use of terror tactics quite brazenly in the UN, and had boldly stated that negotiations for Kashmir will continue once terrorism stopped.


This great man had been a truly shining example of what Politicians should aspire to be, setting an example for aspirants from every political party in India. Other than being known for his political achievements, he’s known as a great poet, an orator and a statesman famous for his wise words that hold true even today; “Governments come and go, parties are born and disappear. More than this and above it all, the country must stay shining, its democracy immortal”.


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