Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 09:33 PM IST

Vijay Trivedi calls Vajpayee one of India's greatest statesmen in 'Haar nahi manoonga'

Updated: Aug 02, 2016 17:25 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 2 (ANI): Recalling his meetings with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, senior journalist Vijay Trivedi described him as the most simple and courteous politician India has had in his book, ' Haar nahi manoonga, ek atal jeevan gaatha.'

The title comes from one of the famous poems of Vajpayee who was a poet and a journalist at heart.

Trivedi writes that he is one of the lucky journalists to have got the opportunity to cover Vajpayee's political journey very closely.

He says that during this journey, Vajpayee achieved many commendable things, and despite having a courteous personality, he was strong enough to make India a nuclear equipped nation and bring it into the global limelight through his foreign and trade policies.

Trivedi adds that as one of the founder members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Vajpayee's strength and wisdom came to the fore during the dark days of emergency when he brought all non-congress parties onto one united platform. This, he says was an extraordinary achievement.

He always tried to forge peaceful relations with Pakistan, and as the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai, he followed a policy of friendship with the neighbour.

He eased visa norms and played a significant role in initiating steps to establish a consulate in Mumbai to improve relations between the two neighbours.

Through these efforts, he became very popular in Pakistan and with Muslims in India.

As Prime Minister in 1999, he inaugurated the historic New Delhi-Lahore bus service that was then seen as the start of a new era of friendship between the two countries.

In this book, Trivedi has several tales to tell about Vajpayee, and the lessons that people can learn from it.

Trivedi has interviewed a number of party and non-party leaders, bureaucrats and people who knew Vajpayee very closely and his research has clearly given us a very informative book that takes us through Vajpayee's life.

It is a very balanced and impartial portrayal of Vajpayee's life (ANI)