Perhaps, it was the fall of the last Colossus of Indian politics that stood tall amongst the pygmies abound.
A ‘poet politician’ is actually an oxymoron, as is a ‘principled politician‘ and both are therefore an untoward possibility.
In Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we had the rare combination of poetic honesty, intellect, sensitivity and romanticism and the measured shrewdness, and crafty deftness of a seasoned yet upright politician.
He belonged to the rare genre of politicians who dedicated their heart and soul to their country; for them, upholding principles in politics was a matter of faith and the Indian Constitution was sacrosanct.
An ascetic amongst avaricious politicians, any measure of worldly enticements could not deter him from his Dharma.
His stoic sense of indifference both in loss or in victory, was very unlike a politician.
It’s seldom in politics, and otherwise, that your adversaries openly respect and admire you and shower rich praises.
In fact, Atalji had no adversaries in a true sense, they were friends with difference of opinion.
An orator par excellence who enthralled his audience, be it on the floor of Parliament, the United Nations or sundry public rallies.
His sense of humour was legendary, which he often used to floor his opponents with elan.
His affable nature, ever smiling demeanour, conciliatory and adjusting nature and the ability to see reason beyond biases, endeared him to even his most bitter critics and foes; it was a quality most unique to him.
Their won’t be ever a leader now who would claim to practise the coalition politics with such balanced perfection.
It goes without saying that India as a nation would have been in a different league, had Vajpayee been the PM for few more years.
Also , it’s pertinent to point out that the Congress party was lucky enough to have him as the Leader of Opposition for many years, who always played a constructive role, abhorred disruptive methods during the parliamentary sessions even when he never put down his guards as an effective watchdog, scathing in his criticism whenever deemed necessary.
His firm determination and strength of character and ability to act tough when required, was evident on many occasions which helped India perform its Nuclear tests and his soft and then hard handling of Pakistan.
Atal Behari Vajpayee Ji, the country will miss you for what you were.
His legacy may be cherished by many, but most leaders of our generation may not find it easy to follow.
A sombre nation unites in mourning the demise of one of its greatest sons.
भावभीनी शृद्द्हंजली , शत शत नमन !