Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi on Friday. His daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre and the poet-politician was given a gun salute as he completed his final journey. As a mark of respect, the Tricolour flies at half-mast as India lost one of its greatest leaders and statesmen.
In a touching tribute and a rare gesture to honoured the memory of the late PM, the British High Commission in New Delhi flew the Union Jack, UK’s national flag, at half-mast. The British High Commission also took to tweeted and payed their respect to the charismatic leader. Flying the National flag at half-mast is a sign of mourning.
Interestingly, the British are more than famaliar with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The twist between them started long before Indepence. In 1942, Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with his elder brother Prem was arrested for over three weeks for participating in the Quit India Movement against the British. This was Vajpayee's first exposure to politics.
As the Nation is mourning the death of India's 10th Prime Minister, the US, via its embassy in India, also conveyed its respects. The US Ambassy released a statement where they commended 'Prime Minister Vajpayee for advocating a robust partnership with the United States'.
Here's the statement:
The United States grieves with India on the loss of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will be remembered for his immense contribution in bolstering India-US relations. During his tenure, Prime Minister Vajpayee advocated for a robust partnership with the United States, referring to us as “natural allies.” The U.S. Mission in India extends our deepest condolences to the family of former Prime Minister Vajpayee and the citizens of India.
Meanwhile, the government of India has decided that seven-days of mourning will be observed across the nation from 16th August 2018 to 22nd August 2018. During the course of this period: