In the passing away of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Atalji to countless millions admirers and party workers), a Colossus has departed, leaving behind an irreplaceable void in the public and ideational life of India. A Hero of generations of Indian youth, who have been inspired and imbued with the spirit of nationalism, has left us, leaving behind pearls of memories and sparks of inspirations. To generations he gave voice to their aspirations of seeing an alternate political narrative emerge, a narrative that would be decisively nationalist, would think of India first and would act to safeguard India’s national interest.
Having founded the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980, he led it, nurtured it, watered it and nourished it like an incomparable and unmatched guide, teacher and preceptor who eventually saw it expand and grow into the principal and dominant pole of Indian politics and of India’s public life. His triune Mantra – of Sanghathan (Organisation), Sangharsh (Struggle), Samrachana (Constructive Work) – inspired countless workers to struggle and sacrifice, through decades, and build the party as a formidable platform and instrument of societal transformation and of governance, a platform, a vehicle, and a movement that has altered the course and canvas of Indian politics forever.
The party’s decisive victory and its historic electoral mandate won under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, indeed showed the long and arduous journey of the party from those days, when as Vajpayee Ji once described it, “The benign presence of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was no longer there. Neither was there a distinguished leadership, nor was there a wide mass base. Candidates were hard to find to fight the elections. There was none who was willing to spend his own money to face forfeiture of security deposit…”
Shri Vajpayee Ji, was one of our last links to Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, acting for a while as Dr Mookerjee’s secretary, he was witness to and participant in a very crucial and formative phase of the movement to create an alternate narrative in Indian politics of which Dr Mookerjee was the initiator. On his last journey, having entered Kashmir, Dr Mookerjee directed Vajpayee Ji to return and to let the entire country know that he had entered Kashmir without a permit.
It was at his initiative that Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) was founded in the 1990s; he foresaw the necessity of research, of policy orientation and the imperativeness of constantly replenishing the ideological foundations of a party like the BJP.
While we mourn his loss, we also resolve to carry aloft and perpetuate the immortal flame of his legacy; a legacy and a life lived, every minute, every moment, in a ceaseless and unconditional service of Bharat.
While he mingles and unites with Bharat’s civilisational flow and quest, Shri Vajpayee Ji’s legacy and unparalleled contribution to our national life shall forever continue to guide and inspire us to action. It is those whom he nurtured, whom he selected and entrusted with organisational and governance responsibilities, who are today leading and articulating the vision and dream of a new India.