It is really double treat for Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On his birthday eve, he is conferred with Bharat Ratna and his birthday i.e. December 25 would be observed as ‘National Good Governance Day’. There will be mega event to showcase Modi government’s achievements by inaugurating it. BJP MPs will be busy, celebrating Good Governance Day in their constituency as a tribute to former PM Vajpayee.
Vajpayee is an Indian statesman who was the eleventh Prime Minister of India. Popularly recognised as the “Bheeshma Pitamaha” of Indian politics, his contribution to Indian politics is enormous and vast, that’s why he is being conferred with Bharat Ratna. He is away from the limelight because of his poor health and age. Recently, he came in news as PM Modi announced that his birthday will be celebrated as National Good Governance Day. However, no one remembered him at the time of general election, earlier this year. He was almost forgotten even by BJP leaders also. In December 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement from active politics, declaring that he would not contest in the next general election. In a famous statement at the BJP’s silver Jubilee rally at Mumbai’s historic Shivaji Park, Vajpayee announced that “Henceforth, Lal Krishna Advani and Pramod Mahajan will be the Ram-Laxman.” However, even Ram (Advani) is sidelined and Laxman (Mahajan) is killed by his brother. After his retirement from active politics, we hardly hear about him, who changed our nation’s destiny. Vajpayeeji is a man, who intensely fought in the Indian independence struggle. With his hard work, he drags a small party to the national level party. He eventually set a new benchmark for noble politics. He was a primordial front in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He solidified the Hindutva principle and inspired millions of youths to join hands in protecting the glorious culture and beliefs.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 1997, he delivered his speech in Hindi and became the first person ever to do so. In May 1998, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, Rajasthan. The five tests shocked and surprised the world, especially considering that the government had been in power for only a month. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had made India a nuclear power and immortalised our strength to defend our country from all and any possible attacks. Amidst the high political pressure from the United Nations and other International communities to stop the operation, Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared that he would not call back Indian Military Forces until India regained its territories. Indian armed forces successfully drove the Pakistani troops out of our border and took control of its lost territories. After the attack on the Parliament building in New Delhi, Vajpayee took bold steps to avert terrorism by introducing the Prevention Of the Terrorism Act (POTA). He had expressed that the growing rate of terrorism was always a major threat to India. There is no limit for Mr. Vajpayee’s undying love for his nation. He is till date the only bachelor prime minister of India who served his country with a motto ‘Nation First’.
Even after rising to the most powerful and highest position of the country, he lived a simple life and had only one agenda in mind, ‘development of our nation and its people’. He receives very high respect from all political parties and people of India and there is no one who hates him. He was not just any other politician; he showed the world how to run the largest democracy and handle the responsibilities to lead the nation.
Vajpayeeji’s tenure should also be remembered for his ability to steer the nation through a fragile coalition for full ‘5’ years. He had to tackle Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati. Not only good things but bad things also happened during his tenure. Tehelka exposed corruption in defence deals, including exorbitant prices paid for coffins to carry Kargil martyrs. Then BJP president went to jail in the case. India’s security was compromised and Indian parliament was attacked. India had to release hardcore terrorists under pressure after Indian Airlines flight was hijacked and taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan. There was too much vacillation, and Mr. Vajpayee didn’t exercise powers. He failed to sign peace agreement with Pakistan under Advani’s pressure. The height of his failure was to let UPA in. He couldn’t dismiss Narendra Modi, after Gujarat genocide, and BJP’s shine ended. He should also be remembered for his lacklustre performance. If Narendra Modi wants to emulate Vajpayee, he is either taking the voters for a ride or wants an excuse to keep away from Christmas.
If Government wants to celebrate Good Governance Day on Christmas, the ideal thing would be for the Government to devote this Good Governance Day to Christmas. Christmas, Diwali, Buddha Purnima, Guru Parb and Ramzan must be celebrated as national festivals – not just as festivals of a single religion. Hindus adore Christ just as much as Christians do. There is no harm in conducting government function even on Diwali day provided the government should give option to its employees from lower to highest position to attend on such days. A wise and people friendly government should not choose such days for government functions as acts of respect to individual preferences and to preserve communal harmony.
Anyway, this is good co-incidence, three events on one day, Merry Christmas, Happy Good Governance Day and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday. Happiness will be everywhere.