Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25th December, 1924) in a Brahmin family to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Vajpayee did his schooling from the Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gwalior. Later, he studied at Victoria College, Gwalior – now Laxmi Bai College, for his graduation. It was at Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, Kanpur where Vajpayee completed his post-graduation in Political Science.
He is one of the founders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and he has also served as its national president from 1968 to 1973. In 1955, he contested for the first time in the Lok Sabha elections, but did not get success. But he did not give up, and in 1957, he won the Lok Sabha from Balrampur (District Gonda, Uttar Pradesh) as a candidate of Jan Sangh. From 1957 till 1977 till Janata Party’s establishment, he remained a leader of the Jana Sangh’s parliamentary party for twenty years. In the government of Morarji Desai from 1977 to 1979, he remained foreign minister and made India’s image abroad.
Dissatisfied with the Janata Party in 1980, he left the Janata Party and helped in the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Vajpayee was handed over the charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chairmanship on April 6, 1980. He was twice also elected for the Rajya Sabha.
In 1977 Atal Bihar Vajpayee as India’s foreign minister surprised everyone by delivering speech in Hindi in the UN General Assembly. The way he conveyed so much in so few words left the world dumbfounded. He spoke about Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam at that level and made the intentions of the country clear at the world forum. This speech made many people realize the importance of the native language and also placed an Indian Language on the political stage of the modern world for the first time.
His Prime Ministerial tenure includes three non-consecutive terms – the first for 15 days (from 16 May 1996 to 1 June 1996), the second for a period of 13 months (from 19 March 1998 to 26 April 1999) and the third for five years (from 13 October 1999 till 22 May 2004).
He has been active in Indian politics throughout life. He also edited many letters and journals with longstanding national sentiments of nationalism, Panchjanya and Veer Arjuna. He started his life with the determination of living as a pracharak of the RSS, and lived with determination to reach the highest position of the country. Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to complete 5 years of non-Congress Prime Ministership without any problems. He formed a government with a coalition of 24 parties. It is evidence of his leadership potential.
He had retired from politics around a decade ago and lives in a government house located in New Delhi.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was conferred with Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on 27 March, 2015.