Leaving a void in Indian Politics, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee breathed his last at 5.05 pm on Thursday. He was one of India’s tallest leaders and was firm in his political convictions. With his charismatic personality, Vajpayee steered his government successfully through several strategic challenges during his time in office from 1999-2004. He was also widely known and respected for his extraordinary oratory skills and speeches full of immaculately chosen words, deft humour and a poetic rhythm. Here are some of the legendary speeches by the 'man of the masses':
"I am a newcomer to the United Nations, but India is not, having been associated actively with the Organisation from its very inception. As one who has been a parliamentarian in my own country for two decades and more, I feel a special sense of exhilaration in attending this assembly of nations for the first time" Mr Vajpayee said in the historic address.
"My dear countrymen, on this independence anniversary, we have a message - to come together, to work hard together to realize the dreams of our country. Our aim may be as high as the endless sky, but we should have a resolve in our minds to walk ahead, hand-in-hand for victory will be ours. Come, let us strengthen this resolve by the cry of 'Jai Hind'. Join me in raising the slogan - Jai Hind. Jai Hind. Jai Hind. Thank you", Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his address to the nation on Independence Day in 2002.
"We bow down to the strength of majority. 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" - Atal Bihari Vajpayee announcing his resignation as 13-day-old Prime Minister.
"Today, at 15:45 hours, India conducted three underground nuclear tests in the Pokhran range. These tests conducted today were with a fission device, a low-yield device and a thermonuclear device. The measured yields are in line with expected values. Measurements have also confirmed that there was no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. These were contained explosions like the experiment conducted in May 1974. I warmly congratulate the scientists and engineers who have carried out these successful tests." - Atal Bihari Vajpayee announcing India's nuclear weapon tests.