A master orator, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday evening due to prolonged illness at the age of 93. During his time as the Indian Prime Minister and a member of Parliament, Vajpayee delivered some electrifying speeches that gave shivers to even the most unattentive of speakers. However, the speech that remains fresh in the memory of every Indian even after 22 years was delivered by Vajpayee just before a scheduled vote on the motion of confidence which would have led to the fall of his 13-day government in 1996.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had emerged as the single largest party in the 11th Lok Sabha elections that took place in 1996 by winning 161 seats. The Congress managed just 140 votes which marked the end of PV Narasimha Rao’s rule.
With no party getting the required seats to form the government, the incumbent President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma had invited Vajpayee, as the leader of the largest single party, to form the government. The Bharatiya Janata Party failed to secure enough allies to go past the halfway (272) mark but Vajpayee pulled off a masterstroke by announcing at the end of his speech that he was going to Rashtrapati Bhavan to tender his resignation, instead of inviting a vote on the motion, which he would have lost.
However, he did it only after tearing apart the opposition parties in a galvanizing speech.
“You want to run the country. It’s a very good thing. Our congratulations are with you. We will be completely involved in the service of our country. We bow down to the strength of majority. We assure you that till the time the work that we started with our bare hands in national interest is not completed, we shall not rest. Respected speaker, I am going to the President to tender my resignation,” he said.
Watch Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 1996 Parliament speech here –
From now on, we must ask every school-going child and every parliamentarian to view this video (subtitled for non-hindi speakers) so that it is hard-wired into their minds…This is a required course in how Indian Democracy should be practised.. pic.twitter.com/hgVsa5WY2n
On Friday, Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra shared a part of this speech on Twitter and said every school-going kid must be asked to watch it.
“From now on, we must ask every school-going child and every parliamentarian to view this video (subtitled for non-hindi speakers) so that it is hard-wired into their minds…This is a required course in how Indian Democracy should be practised..,” his tweet read.