Our generation has had certain privileges over the current generation, like having our childhood icon as the legendary Harry Potter and not an Edward Cullen or a Bella Swann. We grew up watching Hindi movies when they still used to be original, we have had the chance of holding the classic 80 gig iPod with our very own bare hands, Tom and Jerry used to be our favorite cartoon and Friends used to be our favorite TV show! But, amongst other things, we had the opportunity to be led by a vociferous and dynamic leader as our Prime Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee, not the incumbent ‘silent-mode’ Manmohan Singh.
What is it that you seek of a leader? Integrity? Dynamism? Ability to take Action? Oratory skills? Neither of these lie on the resume of Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi or our very own Mr. Manmohan Singh (not even integrity)! But, Mr. Vajpayee, who just turned 87, had it all figured out. He was a true man of honour, an idealist at heart, and a true leader on the outside. He truly envisaged a better and a brighter India, and he made sure that he did everything within his power to the effect. He showed us that politics needn’t always be dirty, that there was always a right way to shut your opponents up, you needn’t put bullets in their heads. It was the side of politics that is beyond the understanding of the world. It’s a real shame that we let some Italian woman conquer our land and defeat our very own nationalist hero to the throne! These days you cannot associate the word ‘hero’ with a politician, for the best adjective that can be given nowadays is ‘not corrupt like the rest!’
As for Atal Bihari, words truly fall short for a tribute. In the period he was at the helm, he struggled just as much with the dissents of his own corrupt ministers, as he struggled to clean up the mess of the vision-challenged men before him. And yet, he rose to the occasion like a phoenix. He led India to the pedestal of world recognition; he made sure India had the power to defend itself from nuclear attacks and had the power to retaliate in kind; apart from countless other contributions. But, his actual contribution far exceeds those achievements- for he showed us that India still has hope, that mankind still has hope. He showed us that men who decide to work for the greater good have a destiny far greater than the others. I salute the man who chose to be a harbinger of change for the Indians, even if it meant making sacrifices bigger than what people couldn’t even dream of. If only if he were still in his prime today, if only he were! From a sincere fan of honesty, honour and integrity, in other words, everything that he imbibed, Sir Atal Bihari Vajpayee!
This article was selected for Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks, dated 27th December 2011. Find it here.