August 16 marks the second death anniversary of India’s former Prime Minister and ‘Bharat Ratna’ Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He served as India’s PM, firstly for a 13 days term in May-June, 1996, then, for 13 months in 1998-1999. He served for the full term from 1999 to 2004.

Vajpayee died at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on August 16, 2018. 

Among his several credentials, he was known as a master orator. His witty, sarcastic and often ruthless remarks came out as both brutal, yet humourous. 

On his death anniversary, here are some instances which captures the genius of the master orator:

1. Ram and Haram

Ram Vilas Paswan: “BJP bahut Ram ki baatein karti hai, par unmein koi Ram nahi. Mera tou naam hi Ram hai.” (“BJP talks a lot about Ram, but they don’t have Ram in them. My name itself is Ram.”)

Vajpayee: “Paswan Ji, Haram mein bhi Ram hota hai.” (‘Haram’ (that which is forbidden) also contain Ram.)

2. ‘Vajpayee is fine, the party is not’

Vajpayee claimed in the Parliament that the opposition says, “Vajpayee is fine but the party is not.” (“Vajpayee to accha hai par party theek nahi”). 

To this, he quipped, “Tou acche Vajpayee ka aap kya karne ka iraada rakhte hai.” (“So what you plan to do with the good Vajpayee.”)

3. Again on Pakistan

Pakistan’s Minister: “Kashmir ke bine Pakistan adhura hai.” (“Pakistan is incomplete without Kashmir”)

Vajpayee: Pakistan ke bina Hindustan adhura hai.” (“India is incomplete without Pakistan.”)

4. At the trust vote:

After his 13-days stint as the Prime Minister, when he went to tender his resignation, he said: “Satta ka khel tou chalta rahega; sarkarein aaengi, jaengi; paritya banengi, bigdengi. Ye desh rehna chahiye, iss desh ka loktantra rehna chahiye.” (“The game of power will go on. Governments will come and go. Parties will be made and unmade. This country should survive, its democracy should survive.”)

5. At a rally in Bihar: “Mein Atal hoon, main Bihari bhi hoon.” (“I am Atal, I’m a Bihari too.”)

6. On party dynamics

Journalist: “BJP mein ek Vajpayee ka dal hai, ek Advani ka dal hai.”  (“In BJP, there are two groups, one of Vajpayee, the other of Lal Krishna Advani”)

Vajpayee: “Mein koi daldal mein nahi hoon. Mein auron ke daldal mein apna kamal khilata hoon.” (“I am in no marsh. I grow my lotus (his party’s symbol) in others’ marshes.”)