Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A leader loved even by his opponents

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is dead and people are talking of many facets of his personality. He was a politician. He was a statesman. He was a poet. He was a great orator, who could have kept mesmerised his audience for many hours. He was a one of the witty orators and people enjoyed his speeches a lot.

In fact, even those people did not belong to his party, used to attend his meetings only to enjoy his speeches. That is why; he was a great crowd puller. This quality gave him a special position in his party and only because of it he got promoted in his party and ultimately became the Prime Minister of India.

His opponents loved to listen to his speech. That is only one part of the story. His opponents also loved his personality. Atal Bihari was in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the political party affiliated to it. In India, the number of people, who do not like RSS, has always been huge and the people associated with this organisation does not have acceptability outside the organisation.

But, Atal Bihari was an exception. He was loved even by those, who hated RSS, BJP and BJS (Bharatiya Jan Sangh). They used to say that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a good man in bad party. Post demolition Babri Mosque, when the resentment against RSS was on peak in anti Sangh people, even then Atal Bihari was not an untouchable to them.

Communists have been the staunch opponents of RSS and BJP. But, even many Communist leaders avoided speaking against Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Even they used to praise him and defend themselves, they used to say that Atalji was a good many but in bad companion.

This is the reason; why Atal did not have political enemies in their opponents. He was personally a very cooperative and helpful person. He had his own opinion, but did not used to hate a person with a different opinion. He was soft spoken and vey accommodative. He himself did not used to make personal attack against his opponents and that is why he did not have staunch critics among his opponents.

When he was External Affairs Minister in Morarji government, he adopted a policy of better relations with neighbouring countries. He pursued the same policy, when he became the Prime Minister in 1998. He gave an olive branch to Pakistan to improve relations, but Pakistan stabbed him in the back by capturing a portion of Kargil. After the capture of Kargil by Pakistan, Atal Bihari showed his anger and declared a war against the intruders and they were forced to retreat. Now the victory of Kargil has become one of his achievements as Prime Minister.