GS Paper 4
Syllabus: Moral Thinkers
Source: Indian Express, The Hindu
Context: It is worthwhile to note how former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose 98th birth anniversary, was celebrated recently (December 25), played an important role in the nation’s development.
Values that can be learnt from the life of Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
Respected leader: Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru respected young Vajpayee as a leader in the Opposition, and sent him to represent India in UN General Assembly.
- Vajpayee respected the right to dissent or disagree, as a part of polemics, and yet engaged with the dissenter, within and beyond his own party, which is so important in current times.
Good Governance: Proposed training for newbie legislators, and proposed National Agenda of Governance including the role of parliamentarians.
High moral values: His writing, ‘Andhiara fir hatega, ek naya savera ayega’ and poem, ‘Geet Naya Gata Hoon’, bear testimony to his spirit against adversity and acceptance of the same to win another day.
- People rewarded him with a full majority in 1999 and he ruled full term as the first non-Congress PM to have finished a full term.
Nationalist: He advocated and practised positive nationalism. He proudly took Hindi to the UN first time and spoke it in the General Assembly. He represented the best of Indian ethos and culture.
Infrastructural Development: Vajpayee was the man who ushered in an infrastructural revolution in India. His model of development was inclusive.
- He initiated the Delhi Metro rail as a mass transit system.
- He brought in National Highway Development Project leading to East West North South Corridor or the Golden Quadrilatera
- He envisaged and executed the first round of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which connected rural India greatly.
- The New Telecom Policy of 1999 brought in by him was also a crucial part of the Indian telecom revolution.
Messenger of Peace: Against many odds, he himself rode a bus to Lahore in 1999 for Indo-Pak peace
Promote scientific temper: He conducted the nuclear test in Pokhran in 1998 and made the hero of this achievement, Dr APJ Kalam the next President of India, who was later named as the true People’s President.
- Vajpayee coined the slogan: ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan’.
- Efforts to improve India-China ties
Role Model for social changes: He adopted Namita Bhattacharya, the daughter of his long-time friend Rajkumari Kaul. His adopted family lived with him and the daughter only performed his last rituals.
He was honoured with Padamavibhushan in 1992 and Bharat Ratna in 2015. He was elected to Lok Shaba 10 times and twice to Rajya Sabha. Vajpayee’s birthday, 25th December is marked as Good Governance Day. He was a towering personality without any enemies and was very well known as Ajata Satru.
Q. Which moral philosopher’s teachings do you relate to the most? Why?