Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died last Thursday at the age of 93 at New Delhi’s AIIMS hospital.
He became the prime minister of India 3 times and is known as the man who went the extra mile to shape the foreign policy of India.
He steered India out of difficult economic times, so clearly he should have a lot to teach us, right?
Here are 7 lessons on what every young Indian can learn from him:
1. Big Places don’t define your lives.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born in Gwalior. Yet, he became the Prime Minister of India three times (May 16 1996, to June 1, 1996, 1998 to 1999 and 1999 to 2004).
The place we are born doesn’t define what we can accomplish in life. Atal Bihari made his own path and fought to do big things. .We can make big differences regardless of our origins, is all up to us.
2. Do not let Money kill your dreams.
Your parents may not be wealthy and powerful, but why should you let that dull your dreams?
Vajpayee’s father Krishna Bihari Vajpayee was a school teacher and his mother, Krishna Devi, a housewife. Nevertheless, Atal Bihari had big dreams, and he followed them!
So if you never doubt your ability on accomplishing your dream, you can definitely get there.
3. Don’t let the world affect you with their opinions.
A year after India won its freedom, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was abandoned. But Vajpayee, who was a member of the RSS, never gave up on his ideologies.
After the Jan Sangh became part of the Janata Party, the issue of dual membership was raised.
Atal, along with other former Jan Sangh ministers in Morarji Desai’s Janata Party government was told to give up their membership of the RSS, but they refused to abandon the organisation.
Like Vajpayee, don’t let the world force their opinions on you.
If you believe in something, stick with it even if the world thinks you are wrong.
4. No mentor? Don’t let that affect you.
Vajpayee was 29 years old when he lost his mentor, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who died mysteriously.
Having a mentor can make your path easier, but, like Vajpayee, you can forge ahead even if you don’t have one.
5. Always learn from your past.
In the 1998’s election, the BJP won 182 seats. Again, it was short of a majority.
This time, Atal Bihari knew what he had to do. He didn’t resign like he did in 1996.
Instead, he formed an alliance with 13 partners under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance and went on to form the government.
So, if you don’t succeed once, it does not mean you will not succeed if you try again. Plan carefully and gather together people who will support you in your endeavour.
6. Try your best to resolve issues peacefully.
Despite his best intentions, he was betrayed by Pakistan twice. However, he never gave up on his dream of a harmonious relationship with India’s neighbour.
In February 1999, he travelled to Lahore for peace talks, but got the Kargil war in return.
2 years later, he invited Pakistan’s military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, for a summit in Agra to once again discuss peace. In December that year, Parliament was attacked.
He still persevered and visited Pakistan in 2003, for the SAARC summit.
If the goal is important enough, keep trying.
India may not have succeeded in making peace with Pakistan, but it is possible that you will achieve your goal. Few young people from both the countries are friends and help each other.
Right now, instance, there are people from Pakistan who want to help Kerala.
7. Never give up
In 1998, the Vajpayee government lost the no-confidence motion by a single vote.
Vajpayee refused to give up. The BJP contested the 1999 election with vigour and won.
Sometimes, all you need is a belief, gumption and hard work. That will lead you to success.
Today, BJP has started the Kalash Yatra to immerse our Atal Ji’s ashes in rivers across India.
Let’s take out 1 minute from our daily schedule and pray for his beautiful soul.
Let us know in the comments if you learned something more from Atal Ji! We’d love to know it 🙂
If you like this post you may also like: “How Young People Contribute to changing the world every day”.
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Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.