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The Journey Of Atal Bihari Vajpayee From British India To Bharat Ratna : The Political Timeline Of A True Legend!

Updated on April 20, 2015

Early Stages of His Life :

The Indian peninsula has seen several ups and downs as a nation. Several leaders have rose up and led people at times of crisis and this has enabled people to witness several pioneer statesmen. One such fine statesman and an ardent devotee to the nation is Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Associated with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) he rose to be elected as the eleventh prime minister of India.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee - By Ricardo Stuckert/PR [CC-BY-3.0-BR (], via Wikimedia Commons
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee - By Ricardo Stuckert/PR [CC-BY-3.0-BR (], via Wikimedia Commons

He wasn’t under the class of people born who are born with a silver spoon; his birth was marked in a middle class Brahmin family in Gwalior. As a human being he possessed a highly qualified mind and lot of general awareness. The yesteryear’s in Victoria College is where he acquired his distinction in the fields of Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

Victoria College Gwalior where Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee completed his Graduation
Victoria College Gwalior where Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee completed his Graduation | Source

Right from his early years, his ideology was to serve the nation and supplementing to this desire of his was the decision to acquire an MA in political science from the Dayanand Anglo Vedic College in Kanpur. Vajpayee never fancied a wedding and chose to stay a bachelor for his entire lifetime. His advent into politics saw him serve as a political journalist in his earlier days. This was instrumental in his knowledge and skills that he acquired as a politician.

A Turning Point in the Political Career of the Veteran Vajpayee :

It is a known fact that the British ruled India for over 200 years, but little is known that this led to the rise of several patriots who laid their lives for the nation. Along with patriots there was also a prominent rise of statesmen. Vajpayee Sir along with his brother Prem was arrested for 23 days during the quit India movement. In the year of 1951 he rose to a prominent position in the RSS.

From here, he was able to work for the newly formed party called Bharatiya Jana Sangh. These parties were Hindu associated parties and they saw their strongholds firmly laid on RSS. Very soon he was appointed as the national secretary of the party operational from Delhi. His services were greatly recognized and he started being the aide to the then leader of the party. His major revolutionary steps include a fast until death which was observed on account of granting justice to the Non Kashmiri Indian visitors to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Vajpayee - BJP Combo Heading To National Prominence! -

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been a member of parliament since 1957 and he had rich political experience. Apart from Pandit Nehru, it’s he who has occupied the office of the Prime Minister through three successive Lok Sabha’s. The tenure he marked as a PM for India was from May 16-31, 1996 and from March 19, 1998 to May 2004. In all these years Shri Vajpayee had firmly reflected himself as a capable leader of BJP and done various economic and financial boons for the nation. It was in his tenure that the GDP figures saw a considerable growth of 5.8. Vajpayee’s prime motive was to economically empower the rural population and this served to be a predominant reason which led to his rise as a leader.

Golden Tenure of Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee!

Despite the initial tremor faced by BJP in the year 1996 there was no sign of retreat or backing off. The party rose to monopoly dominance in the year 1998 with Shri Vajpayee swearing in as the prime minister for the second time. This period proved to be highly beneficial for India and there are several reasons to support this fact. For instance, the underground nuclear tests in pokhran were successfully conducted during this tenure within one month of the party attaining power.

During the dreadful Kargil War between India and Pakistan he rose to be a strong leader. The Indian troops had won the war, hands down and all the infiltrated areas were recaptured by our armies and air force. Various economic reforms which were laid out by him saw India scaling high on the global financial scenario with a 6-7% rise of GDP. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan was launched in 2001 which saw elementary education in Indian schools rising high. This act brought down illiteracy rate considerably.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan was launched in 2001 under The Government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan was launched in 2001 under The Government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee | Source

A Uphill Battle Against All Odds That Stood His Way!

Ever since his entry into politics, there have been several posts and positions where his services as an ardent, avid and responsible politician can be observed. Right from being the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951 he has had an uphill battle against all odds that stood his way. Before attaining the post of Prime Minister, his major post was the president of the BJS party. In the year 1990-91 he was elected as the chairman in the committee of petitions. Apart from leading the nation as a PM he was also the Minister Of External Affairs and was in charge of Ministries.

The steady climb to heights of fame and recognition ..finally catapulting Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Prime posts :

Positions held by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his Political Career

Positions held
Founder-Member, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (B.J.S)
Elected to 2nd Lok Sabha
1957 – 77
Leader, Bharatiya Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party
Member, Rajya Sabha
1966 – 67
Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances
Re-elected to 4th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
1967 – 70
Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
1968 – 73
President, B.J.S.
Re-elected to 5th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
Re-elected to 6th Lok Sabha (4th term)
1977 – 79
Union Cabinet Minister, External Affairs
1977 – 80
Founder- Member, Janata Party
Re-elected to 7th Lok Sabha (5th term)
1980 – 86
President, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
1980 - 84, 1986 and 1993 – 96
Leader, B.J.P. Parliamentary Party
Member, Rajya Sabha; Member, General Purposes Committee
1988 – 90
Member, House Committee; Member, Business Advisory Committee
1990 – 91
Chairman, Committee on Petitions
Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (6th term)
1991 – 93
Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
1993 – 96
Chairman, Committee on External Affairs; Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (7th term)
16 May 1996 – 31 May 1996
Prime Minister of India
1996 – 97
Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
1997 – 98
Chairman, Committee on External Affairs
Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (8th term)
1998 – 99
Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs; and also in charge of Ministries/Department not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (9th term)
13 Oct 1999 – 13 May 2004
Prime Minister of India and also in charge of the Ministries/Departments not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha (10th term)

Insight Into Personal Life : No Doubt An Asset To The Nation!

A person is a product of his thoughts and actions. The art of expressing ideas in the form of words and colours have often resided in the minds of the brilliant. A journalist by profession, this man has contributed a lot of literature to the upbringing of politics. The early phases of his life saw him deeply engrossed in poetry which served to be a base for his determination in serving the nation.

There are five autobiographies which have been published under his name and each one describes him as an asset to the nation. In the year 2001 his last autobiography titled Values, vision & verses of Vajpayee: India’s man of destiny was published. He has published several poems across his lifespan and some of his most famous ones were the twenty one poems published in 2003, Shreshta Kabita in the year 1997 and Kya khoya kya paya in the year 1999.

Kya Khoya Kya Paya : Atal Bihari Vajapeyi, Vyaktitva aur Kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1999)
Kya Khoya Kya Paya : Atal Bihari Vajapeyi, Vyaktitva aur Kavitaem (Hindi Edition). (1999) | Source
(Kya Khoya Kya Paya) (Hindi Edition)
(Kya Khoya Kya Paya) (Hindi Edition)

A Fiery poetry book of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee


Silverware Awarded

  • The year 1992 saw his graced with the honorary award of Padma Vibhushan
  • Kanpur university felicitated him with the title of D.Lit
  • He was presented the Lokmanya Tilak Award for his selfless services
  • The year 1994 saw him win two major awards the Best Parliamentarian Award along with the most prestigious Bharat Ratna.

The Bharat Ratna Moment

The major reason to award him this cloak of sheer brilliance by our nation was primarily because of his statesman skills. Skills which he efficiently used to duck away fiercest battles and skills with which he ensured lot of peace were responsible for him to acquire this medal of honour. His ten year rule saw India growing as a nation in all the domains of judgement.

President of India conferred Bharat Ratna Award to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 27th March 2015
President of India conferred Bharat Ratna Award to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 27th March 2015 | Source

The Finale

For a person who has seen the nation right from when its constitution was framed, from when independence has been declared and from when parties were formed, the word veteran is just an understatement. His contributions might have earned him several awards and recognition but there can be no real substitute prize which can sum up all his services as a journalist, Politician and above all a good human being!


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    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Remarkable story and excellent Hub, Readers Square.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Brilliant piece of work !


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