Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a charismatic leader, an orator and a poet, served as a Prime Minister of India for three times. Though, his first tenure was for a very short period of time, i.e., 13 days. But, in his other two consecutive terms, he took many key decisions that put India on the roads of economic growth and paved the way for its bright future.
He was India’s first Non- Congress Prime Minister, took the post of Prime Minister – from 1998 to 2004 – and led India towards progress. He was also known as ‘Bhishm Pitamah of Indian Politics’ who helped the BJP party to change its image from the hardcore Hindu party, to the one being respected by allies.
Here’s a list of 5 major decisions taken by Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his term as Prime Minister of India!:
1. India’s Nuclear Test in Pokhran-11
India took its first Nuclear test in 1974 under the leadership of Indira Gandhi. When Rajiv Gandhi took the reigns in his hands, he emphasized on Nuclear disarmament and thereafter, India left behind its intention to be a Nuclear Power Country, while our neighbours equipped themselves with Nuclear Bombs.
One of the key decisions of Vajpayee Government was to strengthen India with Nuclear Power. In May 1998, India secretly conducted a series of explosion of 5 Nuclear bombs in Pokhran’s Test Range in Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan. This is also looked at as CIA’s biggest Intelligence failure. Though, the test resulted in sanction by the USA, Canada and other countries against India, but with the test, India marked itself as a Nuclear- equipped Power Country to the international platform.
2. International Policy
Atal Bihari Vajpayee redefined India’s International Policy with his remarkable initiatives. When India took a Nuclear Bomb Test, in 1998, countries like the USA, China, Canada and many others started building pressure on India and imposed sanctions. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his advisors, not only took out India from those situations, but also developed new tie-ups with the USA. Post-cold world war, the historic visit of the US President Bill Clinton to India surprised the world. The visit of Bill Clinton to India assured friendly relations between India & United States.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee took many steps in his term to improve relations between India and Pakistan. After the Nuclear Bomb Test, to normalize the tension within the borders, Prime Bihari Vajpayee opened the bus route between India & Pakistan. In the year, 1999, he took the bus ride to Pakistan to meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and extended the hand of friendship. Though, the meeting turned out to be a failure as Pakistan infiltrated India & gunned down two of its MIG fighter planes. Instead of taking a soft route to resolve the matter, Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a strong decision to reply Pakistan in a befitted manner. He ordered to mobimize Indian troops to the border. Both the countries faced heavy casualty in the war, but India was able to maintain its territorial integrity.
The failed Agra Summit didn’t affect the intention of Atal Bihari Vajpaayi to bring peace in the border. In 2004, Gen Musharaf committed to India that they wouldn’t let Pakistani land to be used for terrorism purpose.
In 2003, Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a trip to China with the aim to improve Sino-India bilateral relations. Both the countries had set up ‘The Special Representatives Mechanism’ to resolve the boundary disputes. A major improvement on trade between India and China was marked after this.
Overall, during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpaayi, India improved its bilateral tie-ups with many countries that opened the path of socio- economic growth.
3. Golden Quadrilateral Project and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna
This is India’s one of the biggest Infra projects, where the construction of world class Highways connecting the four major cities of India- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata started.
With the same vision to build India’s Infrastructure, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna Kick-started, in 2000. The idea was to build all weather rural roads to connect villages with the mainstream.
4. Education for All (Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan)
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaayi was a visionary man. ‘Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyaan’ was aimed to provide free & compulsory education to children between the age of 6 to 14 years. The project launched in the year of 2000-2001. A decline in dropout had been marked since then. Presently, there are 19.67 crore children enrolled in 14.5 lakh elementary schools in India.
5. India’s Telecom Revolution
Atal Bihari Vajpaayi is also called the Father of the Modern Telecom. He ushered India in the National Telecom Policy, in 1999. The New Telecom Policy revolutionized the Indian telecom industry by replacing fixed license fees for telecom firms with a revenue-sharing arrangement. Besides, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd founded in 2000.