Atal Bihari Vajpayee received the country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, at his home on March 27, 2015.
#1 Birth of PM, Poet, Bharat Ratna
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born into a middle-class family in Gwalior. His father was Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, a school teacher and poet, and his mother was Krishna Devi.
#2 He was a communist
Before joining Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), Atal was inclined towards communism and after being influenced by Babasaheb Apte, he joined the RSS in 1939 and in 1947, he became a Pracharak of RSS (technically a full-time worker).
#3 When he was arrested for the 1st time
In 1942, Atal was arrested along with elder brother Prem for 23 days for participating in Quit India Movement against the British Government in India.
#4 When his father was his classmate
He and his father went to the same Law College (DAV College in Kanpur) together for their Law studies and they even shared the same room in the hostel.
#5 Tryst with Journalism
Atal was greatly fascinated with journalism and was always eager to become a journalist. His dream to become a journalist came true when he was sent to Uttar Pradesh to work for Deendayal Upadhyaya’s newspapers- Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Veer Arjun & Swadesh.
#6 Atal as an ardent follower
He was a passionate follower of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (founder of the Bhartiya Jana Sangh) and went on a fast-unto-death along with him in 1953 to protest against the law of carrying a permit to visit Kashmir. Atal was shattered when Mukherjee died during the protest.
#7 What a guess by Jawaharlal Nehru
He is known all over the world for his oration skills and when he delivered his maiden speech in the Indian Parliament, Jawaharlal Nehru (the then Prime Minister of India) predicted that someday he would become the Prime Minister of India.
#8 When he said- I want it back!
In 1977, he was appointed the External Affairs Minister in Morarji Desai Government and when he entered the office of Ministry of External Affairs in the South Block, he found the portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru was missing and then he said to the staff- I want it back.
#9 When United Nations witnessed first Hindi speech
He uplifted Hindi to the international platform by speaking in Hindi at the United Nations, he became the first person to speak in Hindi at the United Nations.
#10 Prime Minister, Prime Minister and Prime Minister
He became the Prime Minister of India for three times- first time on 16 May 1996 for 13 days only, second time on 19 March 1998 for 13 months and third time on 13 October 1999 for a full 5-year term.
#11 Bus Journey to Lahore
In order to build a strong relationship with Pakistan, he took a bus journey named- Sada-e-Sarhad to Lahore on 19 February 1999.
We will miss you, Atal. 🙁