It is a matter of great pride for the people of India that the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpyee, affectionately called as Atalji by his followers and admirers is being decorated with the highest title of Bharata Ratna on the Republic Day this year. I had the fortune of being associated with him from the days when Bharatiya Jan Sangh was founded and translating his many captivating speeches in Hindi to Kannada. I also had the privilege of being his Advocate and filing his writ petition during 1975 emergency seeking for the issue of a writ of habeas corpus for his release when he was arrested by the then Union Government headed by Indira Gandhi under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act. It all began with the setting aside of the election of Indira Gandhi to Lok Sabha by the Allahabad High Court on June 11,1975 on the ground of electoral malpractice by her. My arrest under the same Act later strengthened the bonds with the great patriot. During his stint as a Minister or later as the Prime Minister of India, this bond was never weakened.
Multifaceted Atal Ji
On 22 March 2015 Him Uttarayani Magazine organised a seminar on former prime minister and poet Bharatratna Atal Behari Vajpayee in Anuvrat Bhavan, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi. Main speaker was noted Hindi writer Dr Narendra Kohli and the seminar was presided over by Padma Shri Shyam Singh Shashi. Dr Kohli said that while focusing on his political life, the creative personality of Vajpayee is neglected. Senior social worker Sh. Devendra Swaroop Sharma who worked with Atal ji in the 1950s in Bharatpur Rajasthan said that Atal ji is a unique man in politics who is well orator, poet, thinker and all above a large hearted person. Supreme court’s senior advocate Navin Kumar Jaggi said that the Atal ji has already carved his name for every era. Acharya Radha Krishna Manori secretary Vishwa Hindu Parishad said Atal ji was a phuilosophical, liberal and visionary leader and everyone working in social or political field wants to follow his ideals. The people who got Atal Sahyatri Samman in the function were Vireshwar Dwivedi, Master Harikrishna Solanki, Devendra Swaroop Sharma, senior writer Ballabh Dobhal, Economist Prof R N Goyal, writer Dr H Balasubrmaniam, Anuvrat Trustee Sampatmal Nahta and Him Uttarayani Magazine has organized this seminar for the purpose of publishing a special issue on Atal Behari Vajpayee ji. Many political and social worker within the writer and media persons has attended the seminar. The discussion was coordinated by Surya Prakash Semwal, editor of Him Uttarayani.
Now, my joy knows no bounds as Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee with whom I had closely associated for over five decades and on whose behalf I had the honour of filing writ petition against his detention, is being decorated with the highest title Bharat Ratna. It is a pity that Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee has been ailing and bed ridden for the last more than five years. I and my wife could see him in June 2014 at his residence in Delhi, which is still energising. In view of historic role played by him by way of dedicated service to the Nation for more than six decades, he will be remembered as Bharata Ratna for all times to come and will be a source of eternal inspiration for all future generations. Atalji has been a great national leader for more than six decades. He has been an eminent journalist and a poet, a great humanist. He was elected to Lok Sabha ten times. He has been an ideal patriot having been a RSS swayamsevak since 1938 and later was also its full time Pracharak. More than all, an outstanding orator and magnetic personality admired and loved by the people irrespective of their political affiliation as Ajatashatru. He can aptly be described in Sanskrit as Ekaschandraha tamohanti, na cha taragananicha–One Moon destroys darkness not myriads of stars. Thus, he has been the shining moon on the political horizon of the Nation.
Justice (retd) M Rama Jois (The writer is former Governor of Jharkhand and Bihar)