the final journey
It was the hot afternoon of a humid day, between one spell of rains and another. That did not deter thousands of people from coming out to pay their final respects to a dear departed leader. Vajpayee, one of the tallest mass leaders of independent India, used to say in the nascent stage of the BJP that people come in hordes to listen to his speeches but don’t vote for his party. That, however, was an indication of how much people – even those who might not agree to his politics – loved him, his oratory, and found hope in him. On August 17, the funeral procession started from the new BJP office in the heart of the capital and moved on to the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of Yamuna where Vajpayee’s mortal remains were consigned to flames.