Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi mourned the death of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday at the age of 93 years.
Describing him as a towering personality and a powerful national voice who had played crucial roles even on the international political scene, Prof Mukhi said that in his death, the nation had lost an eminent statesman who had earned the unique distinction of being the first non-Congress Prime Minister who led the country three times as Prime Minister.
Prof Mukhi said, “The sagacity and leadership of the former Prime Minister at both the national and international levels has been a source of inspiration and guidance.”
Atal Behari Vajpayee in 1977 as India’s Foreign Minister surprised one and all in the UN General Assembly by speaking in Hindi.
The way he conveyed so much in so few words left the world dumbfounded. He spoke about Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam at that level and made the intentions of the country clear at the world forum.
This speech made many people realize the importance of the native tongue and also placed an Indian language on the political stage of the modern world for the first time.
During his tenure as the Prime Minister he made a bold yet subtle statement regarding India’s nuclear capability by going for Pokhran test thereby helped India to ensure its entry in nuclear club.
He, however, made it unambiguously clear that the country’s nuclear repository and policy ‘is for self-defence and the country which is a believer of non-violence in no way will be in nuclear race with any country’ and India will not use the nuclear power first but will be used as self-defense mechanism.
Stating his long association with Vajpayee, the stalwart of national and international politics, Prof Mukhi said he had turned to the veteran leader on many occasions for his advice on important issues and the response was always pragmatic.
Reminiscing his personal rapport with the former Prime Minister, Prof Mukhi said that when he was the Finance Minister of Delhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and they shared many thoughts on several issues.
On his demise, Prof Mukhi said he had lost a philosopher and guide.
“Though no words will be sufficient to express my grief on his death, I whole-heartedly pray to the Almighty for eternal peace of ‘Atalji’ the patriarch”, Prof Mukhi expressed.