Bishwa Nath Singh
The grateful country must honor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India with the Republic of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in recognition of his multi faceted political personality and his valuable contribution to our motherland in leading the nation on the path of peace and progress during his tenure as the Prime Minister of our country.
( Photo in which the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was being seen at an Operation Table in the worst affected Indian quake region of Bhuj on January 29, 2001)
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
In the above Photo,the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was being seen at an Operation Table in the worst affected Indian quake region of Bhuj on January 29, 2001. More than twenty thousand people were feared dead from January 26,2001 earthquake which had badly struck northwestern India, the worst disaster seen that time during their past five decades.Atal Bihari Vajpayee had served as the BJP's president for the first five years of its existence, laying the foundation for the party's awesome growth in the last one decade. As a parliamentarian, he has been elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and to the Rajya Sabha twice. He is the only parliamentarian elected from four different States at different times namely UP, Gujarat, MP and Delhi. He served as External Affairs Minister in the Morarji Desai Government from 1977 to 1979. He was elected to various positions including Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition (1993), Lok Sabha; Chairperson of a number of parliamentary committees. He served as Prime Minister for a short stint from May 16, 1996 to June 1, 1996 Later on from March 19, 1998 to October 13,1999 and from October13,1999 to May 22,2004, he had served as the Prime Minister of India as the head of a new coalition government, the National Democratic Alliance. He is the only Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to have become Prime Minister of India through three successive mandates. Apart from politics, he has participated in various social and cultural activities. The Krishna Bihari Vajpayee Trust set up by him in the name of his late father promotes a number of constructive activities for the uplift of the deprived and poor as well as children. He has been a Member of the National Integration Council since 1961. He edited Rashtradharma -a Hindi monthly, Panchjanya -a Hindi weekly and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. He had participated in the country’s freedom struggle and went to jail in 1942. He was detained during Emergency in 1975-77. He is widely respected within the country and abroad as a statesman while his tenure as the Prime Minister was characterized as of courage of conviction. It was during his tenure that India had entered a select group of nations following a series of successful nuclear tests at Pokharan in May 1998. The bus journey to Pakistan in February 1999 was widely acclaimed for starting a new era of negotiations to resolve the outstanding problems of the sub-continent. India's honesty made an impact on the world community. Later, when this gesture of friendship turned out to be a betrayal of faith in Kargil, He was also hailed for his successful handling of the situation in repulsing back the intruders from the Indian soil. It was during his tenure in 1998-99 that despite a global recession, India achieved 5.8 per cent GDP growth, which was higher than the previous year. High agricultural production and increase in foreign exchange reserves during this period were indicative of a forward-looking economy responding to the needs of the people that we must grow faster as we simply have no other alternative has been his slogan focusing particularly on economic empowerment of the rural poor. The bold decisions taken by his Government for strengthening rural economy, building a strong infrastructure and revitalizing the human development program, fully demonstrated his Government's commitment to a strong and self-reliant nation to meet the challenges of the next millennium to make India an economic power in the 21st century of India :He had a privilege to serve on a number of important Committees of Parliament. He was Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances (1966-67); Chairman, Public Accounts Committee (1967-70); Member, General Purposes Committee (1986); Member, House Committee and Member, Business Advisory Committee, Rajya Sabha (1988-90); Chairman, Committee on Petitions, Rajya Sabha (1990-91); Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Lok Sabha (1991-93); Chairman, Standing Committee on External Affairs (1993-96). He is a widely traveled leader who had taken a keen interest in international affairs, upliftment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, women and child welfare. Some of his travels abroad include his visits such as the Member, Parliamentary Goodwill Mission to East Africa, 1965; Parliamentary Delegation to Australia, 1967; European Parliament, 1983; Canada, 1987; Indian delegation to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings held in Canada, 1966 and 1994, Zambia, 1980, Isle of Man 1984, Indian delegation to Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, Japan, 1974; Sri Lanka, 1975; Switzerland, 1984; Indian Delegation to the UN General Assembly, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994; Leader, Indian Delegation to the Human Rights Commission Conference, Geneva, 1993.The grateful nation had already honored him with the country’s the second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, that was conferred upon him in 1992 in recognition of his selfless dedication to his first and only love, India, and his more than half-a-century of service to society and the nation. In 1994, he was named India's 'Best Parliamentarian'. Over the decades, he has emerged as a national leader who has mass appeal and commands respect for his liberal worldview and commitment to democratic ideals. .He has remained bachelor all throughout his life. He was also conferred the Lokmanya Tilak Puruskar and Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Award for the Best Parliamentarian, both in 1994. Earlier, the country’s Kanpur University had honored him with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in 1993. He is a well known and respected leader of our country who is very popular all over the globe because of his simplicity, passion and wisdom. His love for poetry is well-known all over the world. He has been an eloquent speaker. He has a passion for reading and writing right from his college days. His love for music and folk dance is well-known to the world. He is one of the most distinguished son of our motherland who has been a glittering star of our modern era.He has tried his best to link all cities of the country with four way lane and had mind to link all big rivers for utilizing water for irrigation purposes all over the country especially in draught prone areas and promoting Hydel projects for power generation to cope-up with the power demand of our country. Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to his lotus feet and pray to God to give him long life and get him well soon!