New Delhi, Aug 16: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee donned too many hats to be called just as a top-notch politician. He was a poet, a writer, a journalist and an orator as well. The founder-member of Bharatiya Jana Sangh was a Lok Sabha member for ten terms. He chaired various committees and held the position of the BJP President for a few years. Vajpayee became the PM in 1996 but stepped down as his party did not have the majority required to form the government. Then, in 1998-99, he again became the PM and also held the External Affairs Ministry. In fact, he was the first non-Congress leader to have completed a term in the PM’s office.

Vajpayee participated in the freedom struggle and went to jail in 1942. He was detained during Emergency in 1975-77. The leader was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by President of India in recognition of his services to the nation, holds the Bharat Ratna and also the Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for the Best Parliamentarian in 1994.

The leader was a prolific writer. He edited Rashtra-Dharma (monthly), Panchajanya (weekly), Swadesh and Veer Arjun, both dailies. To his credit are the following books: Lok Sabha Mein Atalji (a collection of speeches), Mrityu Ya Hatya, Amar Balidan, Kaidi Kavirai Ki Kundalian (a collection of poems written in jail during Emergency), New Dimensions of India’s Foreign Policy (a collection of speeches delivered as External Affairs Minister during 1977-79), Jana Sangh Aur Musalman,Three Decades in Parliament (Speeches in three volumes), Amar Aag Hai(a collection of poems), Meri Ekyavan Kavitayen, Four Decades in Parliament (English)- 4 Volumes of Speeches in Parliament, 1957-95, 21 Poems, Gathbandhan ki Rajneeti, Bindu bindu vichaar, Shakti se shanti, Rajneeti ki raptili raahein, Decisive days, Kuch lekh kuch bhashan, and Na dainyam na palayanam.

Vajpayee’s oratory is legendary. In Lucknow, they say a leader who campaigned in Vajypayee’s name was sure of a win. A foodie at heart, he would, even as the PM, turn up at his favourite eateries in Lucknow late in the night so as not to disturb others. A simple man with a lion’s heart, Vajpayee was respected by one and all and his writing would continue to inspire the generations to come.