A brief biographical sketch of Atal jee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) to Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Krishna Devi. He was educated at Victoria (now Laxmi Bai) College, Gwalior and DAV College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He holds an M.A degree in Political Science and has many literary and artistic accomplishments to his credit.

Vajpayee is regarded as one of the finest poets in Hindi. His poetry reflects his deeply sensitive personality, his soaring patriotism, his concern for the plight of the common people, his commitment to democratic ideals and, above all, his humility. His collection of poems, Meri Ikkyavan Kavitayen, became a bestseller. Many of his poems have been sung by India’s illustrious singers such as Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh.

An accomplished journalist, he edited Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchajanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. His published works include ‘Meri Sansadiya Yatra’ (in four volumes), ‘Sankalp Kaal’, ‘Shakti-se-Shanti’, ‘Four Decades in Parliament’ (speeches in three volumes 1957-95), ‘Lok Sabha mein Atalji’ (a collection of speeches); ‘Mrityu Ya Hatya’, ‘Amar Balidan’, ‘Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian’ (a collection of poems written in jail during the Emergency); ‘New Dimensions of India's Foreign Policy’ (a collection of speeches delivered as India’s External Affairs Minister during 1977-79); ‘Jan Sangh Aur Mussalman’; ‘Sansad Mein Teen Dashak’ (Hindi; speeches in Parliament - 1957-1992 - three volumes); and ‘Amar Aag Hai’ (a collection of poems, 1994).

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a Member of the National Integration Council for many years. Some of his other associations include - (i) President, All India Station Masters and Assistant Station Masters Association (1965-70); (ii) Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smarak Samiti (1968-84); (iii) Deen Dayal Dham, Farah, Mathura, U.P; and (iv) Janmabhoomi Smarak Samiti, 1969 onwards.

In 1992, Vajpayee was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in recognition of his services to the nation. He was also conferred the Lokmanya Tilak Puraskar and the Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Award for the Best Parliamentarian, both in 1994. Earlier, the Kanpur University honoured him with an doctorate honoris causa in 1993.

Well-known and respected for his great creative talents as a poet,whose poetry brings out a remarkably sensitive human being for whom human values are supreme and human relationship of paramount importance, Vajpayee is also known as a voracious reader. He is also fond of Indian music and dance.