Vajpayee never learned to bend, even before doctors: Jaitley

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Aug 2018 10:37:51




RECOUNTING former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s sense of humour, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday that the founding President of the BJP did not lose his sense of humour even in pain and ‘never learned to bent.’ “During the Emergency, he (Vajpayee) had a serious problem with his back. He was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) while in detention for treatment. His orthopedic doctor asked him he should have always sat straight, how can the pain occur?

“Kya Aap Jhuk Gaye The?”, to which the irreplaceable Vajpayee replied in the context of the authoritarian rule and told his physician - “Jhukana toh seekha nahin doctor saheb . Yoon kahiye mud gae honge” (I never learned to bow down, I must have turned the other way). Late Vajpayee also penned his poem “toot sakate hain magar ham, jhuk nahin sakate”, recalled Jaitley, who served as Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet between 1999 and 2004.

In a series of tweets, Jaitley said though the demise of former Prime Minister is referred to as an end of an era but he would consider it “as a continuation of the era of which he was one who laid the foundation”.

“Atalji’s demise is referred as end of an era. I, however, consider it as a continuation of the era of which he was one who laid the foundation. His political journey shaped his ideology. His convictions were shaped by his deep commitment to the nation,” said Jaitley. The Nuclear Test in 1998 was a defining moment of Vajpayee’s Government, he opined. Emphasising that Vajpayee went out of the way to work for peace with Pakistan, Jaitley pointed out that: “But when the need arose, he inflicted a severe blow to it in Kargil.”

“Both Pokhran and Kargil were high points of his Prime ministership,” wrote the Union Minister in his Facebook post. Vajpayee’s vision, oration, poetry, blended with his national commitment earned him respect from both friends and opponents. “As a Prime Minister, he was never harsh on either the bureaucrats or his Ministers. In a polite but firm language he could convey more to his subordinates than what he desired,” Jaitley wrote. Former Prime Minister Vajpayee loved food, the BJP leader said, adding that “Ministers in his Government still occasionally speak about the quality of snacks which was served in his Cabinet Meetings”.

“He even loved to experiment foods when he travelled internationally. In India, he had his own favourite places in various cities and occasionally when he got out of the trains in the morning, he would have breakfast on one of them before reaching home.”