People come and go, but there are certain names that are highlighted in history forever. One such name was- Atal Bihari Vajpayee- the 10th Prime Minister of India. His first term lasted for 13 days in 1996 and then from 1998 to 2004. He was the leader of the people and for the people who worked for the betterment of the citizens of India, and for the nation in whole.
He was the man who almost brought peace between arch-enemies India and Pakistan. The relations between both the nations became worse after an attack on Parliament here in December 2001. India blamed Pakistan for the attacks, recalled its high commissioner, suspended air, road and rail links, and deployed hundreds of thousands of extra troops along its border with Pakistan.
However, Former PM Vajpayee ji made efforts to mend the relations. On May 2, 2003, he announced in Parliament that India would restore diplomatic and air links with Pakistan. He, who was 78-years-old that time, said, “The talks this time will be decisive. At least in my life, this is the last time I will be making an attempt.”
“I am confident I will succeed,” he added. To everybody’s amusement, within few hours, Pakistan’s then foreign minister responded with a positive reply and said that Pakistan would also upgrade diplomatic relations to their normal status. The official on the other side of the border agreed for a friendly talk “on all outstanding issues between the two countries, including that of Jammu and Kashmir.”
He predicted a “bumpy road,” but a fruitful result and extended a friendly a hand of friendship to Pakistan. He believed that between the option of living in peace or in tension, we must opt for living in peace and should strive hard to attain it.
However, things don’t always turn out to be as what we wish for!
He was facing several health issues for almost a decade. He suffered a stroke in 2009 which impaired his speech. The reports suggested that he was often confined to a wheelchair and failed to recognise people. He was said to be suffering from dementia and long-term diabetes.