NOSTALGIA FOR VAJPAYEE
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!