Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

On August 16, people and politicians from across the party line will be paying tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 2nd death anniversary.

Born on December 25, 1924, in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior, Vajpayee was an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was among the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

Known for his eloquent oratorical skills, he was a member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, representing Lucknow from the Lower House from 1991 to 2009. Vajpayee was one of the several leaders who were jailed during the Emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

The veteran leader, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998-2004, was the first-ever person from the BJP to become the Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice -- briefly in 1996, from 1998-1999 and then for a full five-year term between 1999 and 2004.

During his tenure, India had carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in Rajasthan in 1998 and the Kargil War between India and Pakistan had broken out in 1999. Apart from politics, Vajpayee was a prominent writer and has penned a number of poems.

Here are top quotes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee:

“I dream of an India that is prosperous, strong and caring. An India, that regains a place of honour in the comity of great nations.”

“Politics is a game of compromise.”

“It is easy to win elections by raising slogan of “garibi hatao” but slogans do not remove poverty.”

“Mere Prabhu! Mujhe Itni Oonchai Kabhi Mat Dena, Gairon Ko Gale Na Laga Sakoon, Itni Rukhai Mat Dena.”

“Maut Ki Umr Kya Hai? Do Pal Bhi Nahi, Zindagi Silsila, Aaj Kal Ki Nahi.”

“I have a vision of India: an India free of hunger and fear, an India free of illiteracy and want.”

“Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash on developed countries.”

“No guns but only brotherhood can resolve the problems.”

“If India is not secular, then India is not India at all.”

“We are unnecessarily wasting our precious resources in wars... if we must wage war, we have to do it on unemployment, disease, poverty, and backwardness.”

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