Alive - - Ed­i­to­rial -

Few prime min­is­ters of India has as­sumed the im­por­tance on his death as Atal Be­hari Va­j­payee whose fu­neral re­cently has brought to­gether lead­ers of all po­lit­i­cal par­ties and peo­ple on a mas­sive scale. For­mer prime min­is­ters, Mo­rarji De­sai, Chan­dra Shekhar, I.K.-Gu­jral and Lal Ba­hadur Shas­try, all had died, but they did not at­tract such mas­sive re­ac­tion from the peo­ple or the press at their death.

Va­j­payee too was al­most dor­mant after he laid down his of­fice, not seen in pub­lic and not com­mu­ni­cat­ing to the out­side world. In the din of mu­tual mud­sling­ing of elec­toral pol­i­tics, he had no place and could not be quoted or shown as an ex­am­ple for the new rul­ing BJP. But on his death, ev­ery­one saw what is miss­ing in In­dian pol­i­tics – tol­er­ance, mu­tual re­spect and a large heart full of sen­ti­ments, poetry and for­bear­ance in a prime min­is­ter.

Young Va­j­payee had dab­bled in var­i­ous ide­olo­gies – com­mu­nist, pa­tri­otic mil­i­tancy and RSS of which he re­mained a swayam­se­vak. How­ever, as prime min­is­ter, Va­j­payee’s model was Jawa­har­lal Nehru, — states­man, lit­ter­a­teur, with a heart of love and sen­ti­ments, yet with all hu­man frail­ties. Va­j­payee too was a politi­cian-poet with a large heart where com­mu­nal­ism and hate had no place, tol­er­ance to crit­i­cism was his credo and with frail­ties like hav­ing a drink after sun­set. It is of­ten one’s hu­man weak­ness that en­dear a man rather than cul­ti­vated moral im­age of up­right­ness and flaunted na­tion­al­ism.

Per­haps it was what is miss­ing to­day what was in Va­j­payee’s time, that has made his fu­neral so mas­sive and all-com­pass­ing. Those tall lead­ers of BJP left out of the new regime, Yash­want Sinha, Arun Shourie, Mu­rali Manohar Joshi and even vet­eran LK. Ad­vani, some crit­i­cal and oth­ers silent, all united to ex­press their sor­row, in remembering with nos­tal­gia of his times. In this time of trum­peted de­vel­op­ment and paid pub­lic­ity, they and peo­ple at large, re­mem­ber Va­j­payee who has been silent, speak­ing noth­ing. In his death, he seems to have come alive in the minds of peo­ple who missed his rule of benev­o­lence to all.

Va­j­payee is dead, Long live Va­j­pay­eesm!

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