By taking the name of Pt. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one gets the awareness of such a great person, whose personality is unlimited. Everyone knows and accepts him as a politician. But, even as a sensitive litterateur, he is included in every part of the individual, society and nation. His talent had blossomed in his childhood itself. When he was still in the fifth class, he gave a speech for the first time, which impressed people a lot. When he was enrolled in Victoria Collegiate School for higher education, he participated in debate competitions and won the first prize. He started participating in political activities during his college life, but also continued pursuing literature.
It is a bit difficult to decide whether Atal ji remained associated with literature while being in politics or remained immersed in politics while pursuing literature. By the way, Atal ji used to say that both politics and literature are parts of life. But, often people associated with politics are not able to find time for literature and people associated with literature are not able to show interest in politics. But, Atal ji set an example and remained connected to both, giving time to both. But today’s politicians are away from literature, that is why the source of human sympathy among them has dried up. The poet is sensitive. A poet has kindness, forgiveness, compassion and love in his heart, hence he cannot play Holi of blood. A writer must first be true to himself. After this he should fulfill his responsibilities towards the society in the true sense. He may be concerned with the present, but he should also worry about the future. He should take inspiration from what is best in the past, but never forget that he has to build a beautiful future. He has to create such literature which talks about the welfare of mankind. There is a sense of nationalism, eternal culture, reality of life and social consciousness in Atal ji’s poems. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s name is taken as a poet who has won the hearts of people with his simple and accessible poetry. His poems were emotional and easy to understand and his poems were written in a very simple style which went straight to the heart of the reader.
Atal ji has written many books. Apart from this, his articles and poems were published in various newspapers and magazines, including Rashtradharma, Panchjanya, Dharmayug, Nai Kamal Jyoti, Saptahik Hindustan, Kadimbani and Navneet etc. On January 25, 1992, the President honored him with the Padma Vibhushan for his dedicated services to the nation. Uttar Pradesh Hindi Institute honored him with ‘Hindi Gaurav’ on 28 September 1992. On this occasion, he was given an amount of Rs 51 thousand, but at the same time he presented it to the institute with respect. Next year, on 20 April 1993, Kanpur University awarded him the degree of D.Litt. For his service and sacrificial life, he was honored with Kamanya Tilak Award on 1st August 1994. After this, on August 17, 1994, the Parliament elected him the best parliamentarian and honored him with the Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award. After this, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna Award on March 27, 2015. The generosity of Atal ji, who received such an important honour, is incomparable. He said that I am aware of my limitations. I am aware of my shortcomings. The judges have definitely selected me ignoring my shortcomings. There is no visible lack of harmony. This country is big, wonderful, very unique. Any stone can be greeted by applying vermilion.
Atal ji considered ‘Ramcharitmanas’ as a source of inspiration for himself. He had said that the completeness of life described by Goswami Tulsidas has not been found in world literature. Regarding poetry writing, he said that I have inherited my interest in literature. The atmosphere of the family was literary. His father Pandit Shyamlal Vajpayee lived in Bateshwar. He was very interested in Sanskrit and Hindi poetry. Although he was not a poet, he was a lover of poetry. He knew many poems in both the languages by heart. He often quoted verses in conversation. His father Pandit Krishna Bihari Vajpayee was a famous poet of Gwalior state. He used to write poetry in Braj and Khari Boli. His poem ‘Ishwar Prarthana’ was sung in the morning mass in schools. Seeing and hearing all this made the mind very happy. Watching his father, he also started rhyming. Then he started going to poet conferences. Started reading poems in the seminars of Hindi Sahitya Sabha of Gwalior. The praise received from the people boosted the enthusiasm.
Atal ji himself says that the truth is that poetry and politics cannot go together. In such a politics, in which it is necessary to give speeches almost every day and the speech should also be such that it can influence the listeners, then where is the time and environment available for the solitary practice of poetry. The poems he has written are situational and reflect the world around him.
He had to pay a heavy price for being honest with his poet, but he continued to try to establish a reconciliation between the poet and the political activist. Atal ji used to say that sometimes I feel like leaving everything behind and losing myself somewhere in solitude in reading, writing and thinking, but I am unable to do so. I also know that my readers are lovers of my poetry because they are happy with the fact that despite living in the desert of politics, I keep a little love flowing in my heart.
Respectful tribute to the great personality revered Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, born on 25 December 1924, on his birth anniversary with a few lines of his own poetry.
I don’t know how many times I have lived,
Who knows how many times I have died?
I am from the cycle of birth and death,
I have never been so scared before.
Endless darkness of light,
How long will I keep searching?
I did not ask for birth,
But I will demand death.
childhood, youth and old age,
The story ends in a few decades.
To live again and again, to die again and again,
Is this compulsion or arbitrariness?
– Dr. Rakesh Mishra
President, Pt. Ganesh Prasad Mishra Seva Trust, Satna