Former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 92 on Sunday. Known for his political acumen, Vajpayee was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India to serve a full term in office. His term as prime minister saw him make concrete efforts at rebuilding India Pakistan relations, and he was instrumental in driving the country towards efficient usage of nuclear resources. His achievements received plaudits from those within the BJP and the Opposition alike. In 2014, Vajpayee was awarded the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, and his birthday on December 25 has been declared “good governance day.”
Apart from his political achievements, what the former head of government is reputed for and will be remembered for ever are his oratory skills and witty remarks. Dedicated to the slow paced, determined oratorical fashion of Atal ji, that made him a beloved national leader, here are some of the strongest quotes he made in his political career.
# You can change friends but not neighbours.
#The UN’s unique legitimacy flows from a universal perception that it pursues a larger purpose than the interests of one country or a small group of countries.
#Our nuclear weapons are meant purely as a deterrent against nuclear adventure by an adversary.
# Poverty is multidimensional. It extends beyond money incomes to education, health care, political participation and advancement of one’s own culture and social organisation.
# If you do not like anything in a particular book, then sit and discuss it. Banning a book is not a solution. We have to tackle it ideologically.
# The reality is that international institutions like the UN can only be as effective as its members allow it to be.
# We do not believe that a nuclear war should be fought and we do not believe that a nuclear war can be won.
# Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash on developed countries.
# People who ask us when we will hold talks with Pakistan are perhaps not aware that over the last 55 years, every initiative for a dialogue with Pakistan has invariably come from India.
I dream of an India that is prosperous, strong and caring. An India, that regains a place of honour in the comity of great nations.