Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary on December 25 is observed as Good Governance Day. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was known for his speaking skills. He was a poet and a compassionate leader.
A great statesman, Atal Bihari Vajpayee served three terms as the prime minister of India – first for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and after that a full term from 1999 to 2004. Here are some excerpts from his speeches on a range of subjects, from nuclear tests to education
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 is celebrated as Good Governance Day. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was known for his oratorical skills. He was a compassionate poet and guide. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a great statesman, served three terms as Prime Minister of India, first for 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and then an entire period from 1999 to 2004. Here are some excerpts from his speeches on a range of topics, from nuclear testing to education
Famous quotes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
- “Satta ka khel chalega” (the game of power will go on). Governments will come and go. Parties will be made and unmade. This country should survive, its democracy should survive” —– Mr Vajpayee in Lok Sabha when his government faced a trust vote in May 1996.
- “Education, in the truest self of the term, is a process of self-discovery. It is the art of self-sculpture. It trains the individual not so much in specific skills or specific branch of knowledge but the flowering of his or her latent intellectual, artistic and humanist capacities. The test of education is whether it imparts an urge for learning and learnability, not this or that particular set of information.” —– December 28, 2002 – inaugural speech of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the University Grants Commission.
- “The Pokhran-2 nuclear tests were conducted neither for self-glorification nor for any display of machismo. But this has been our policy, and I think it is also the policy of the nation, that there should be minimum deterrence, which should also be credible. This is why we took the decision to conduct tests.” —– In Parliament on the 1998 nuclear tests.
- “You can change friends but not neighbours.” —– In Parliament in May 2003.
- “One cannot wish away the fact that before good neighbours can truly fraternise with each other, they must first mend their fences.” —– June 23, 2003 – At Peking University.
- “We should strive hard to ensure that every R&D rupee brings greater benefits to the nation. Mutual suspicions and petty rivalries have continued to haunt us. As a result, the peace dividend has bypassed our region. History can remind us, guide us, teach us or warn us; it should not shackle us. We have to look forward now, with a collective approach in mind.” —– Talking on South Asia at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in January 2004.
- “We in India are inheritors to a great civilisation whose life chant has been ‘Shanti’ – that is, Peace – and ‘Bhaichara‘ – which means, Brotherhood. India has never been an aggressor nation, a coloniser or a hegemon in her long history. In modern times, we are alive to our responsibility to contribute to peace, friendship and cooperation both in our region and around the world. —– January 31, 2004 – PM’s speech at inauguration of Global Convention on Peace and Non-violence.
- “Poverty is multidimensional. It extends beyond money incomes to education, health care, skills enhancement, political participation at all levels from the local to the global, access to natural resources, clean water and air, and advancement of one’s own culture and social organisation” —– September 25, 2003 – address at 58th Session of UN General Assembly.
- Gun can solve no problem; brotherhood can. Issues can be resolved if we move forward guided by the three principles of Insaaniyat (humanism), Jamhooriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Kashmir’s age-old legacy of amity). —– April 23, 2003 – speaking on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament.