Considered one of the most prolific orators in Indian politics, Vajpayee's several speeches are inked in public memory
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's craft for weaving word was second to none. Considered one of the most prolific orators in Indian politics, several of Vajpayee's speeches are inked in public memory.
Here are five of the most popular speeches:
Historic speech in Hindi in United Nations 1977: As a foreign minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first person to speak in Hindi in the United Nations in 1977. Apart from highlighting the changing conditions of India after a period of emergency, Vajpayee pointed attention towards prevailing world problems.
“The challenge in Africa is staring at us. The question is if people in a country has the right to live with independence and dignity or the minority with beliefs in apartheid will keep suppressing the majority? Undoubtedly, all form of apartheid should be eradicated completely.”
Lok Sabha speech on the nuclear tests in Pokhran
“I am astonished that (Pokhran) nuclear test was also criticised. It was asked what the danger was? I was in the house when in the leadership of Indira Gandhi (first) nuclear test was done, and we welcomed that even though we were in opposition. What was the danger then? Will we prepare for self-defence only when danger arise?”
Here comes my resignation, Mr. Speaker! In 1996, Vajpayee formed a minority government which continued for 13 days. In a thunderous speech, he announced his resignation in the parliament.
"You want to run the country. It's a very good thing. Our congratulations are with you. We will be completely involved in the service of our country. We bow down to the strength of majority and we assure you that till the time the work that we started with our bare hands in national interest is not completed, we shall not rest. Respected speaker, I am going to the President to tender my resignation."
Speech in parliament on the confidence motion
“When I came to the parliament for the first time, Nehruji was the PM. For many years I saw him working. I used to sit in the opposition benches, at the back. At that time the party strength used to be low. The memories of those days have not faded yet…BJP slowly increasing its strength and the impact became the main opposition party and today has emerged as the largest party after the election. This change is not sudden.”
On Nehru and the role of opposition in a democracy
"My friends in Congress may not believe this. In South Block, a picture of Nehru used to be hung on a wall. I used to see it while passing through. An argument with Nehruji was common. I was new, used to sit at the back. Sometimes, just to speak, I had to stage a walkout. Slowly, I progressed and carved space for myself. When I became the foreign minister, I noticed one day, the picture of Nehruji is no longer there. I asked, where did the picture go? There was no answer. The picture reappeared soon."