Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Indian diaspora in US mourns Vajpayee’s death

New York: The death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was mourned by the diaspora members and institutions as they honoured the memory of his visionary leadership and statesmanship.

The American India Foundation (AIF), a philanthropic organisation founded in the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake and in response to Vajpayee’s call to the Indian Diaspora to give back to their country, condoled the death of Vajpayee — one of India’s “most loved statesmen.”

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s passing away. His visionary thought was an inspiration to us and spurred the AIF on to test and scale successful programs in India. When two of the world’s largest democracies join hands to tackle developmental issues, the impact can only be tremendous,” AIF CEO Nishant Pandey said.

Founded in 2001 at the initiative of US President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Vajpayee, the AIF has reached 4.6 million of India’s poor, working in the fields of education, livelihoods and public health in 24 states of India. The Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) USA expressed condolences on the death of Vajpayee, saying his passing is a “huge loss to the nation as 1.3 billion people remember his yeomen service to the country.”

Vajpayee died yesterday after prolonged illness at the age of 93. In a statement, the organisation said Vajpayee’s unmatched poetry and oratory skills mesmerised one and all.

The OFBJP said the most defining moment for the country was Vajpayee’s “bold decision” to conduct nuclear tests at Pokhran. The Indian leader also strived for peace with neighbouring countries including Pakistan, it said recalling the “historic” bus service to Lahore as well as his leadership of the country during the Kargil war.

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Free Press Journal