Describing Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a great reformer, visionary and ruler of hearts, speakers at a condolence meeting in the US city of Houston paid rich tributes to the late Indian prime minister.
Organised by the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) here, Consul General of India in Houston, Dr Anupam Ray, remembered Vajpayee fondly through his 1996 inspirational speech in Parliament, The pursuit of power will never cease; Governments will come & go; Political parties will rise and fall; but the Nation is above all; Democracy is above all
"Atalji guided everybody and kept all political parties together. He displayed strong resolve and love for the country by conducting nuclear tests in Pokhran and brought USA and India together, when India was neither a faster growing economy nor a major power like it is today", he said.
Vajpayee Ji was extraordinarily gracious, never made you feel he was superior, had great ability to take everyone along and establish connection with you. He changed the face of India, made it possible what we are seeing today as it was his foresight, today we believe we can do anything- aspire to be rich and powerful based on what we have done but when he became PM during worst financial crisis, things were different. He was a man of decency, brought decency into politics and brought all under one umbrella, Ray said.
Ramesh Shah, Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awardee and OFBJP leader spoke about his long association with Vajpayee.
Atalji cared for every Indian citizen, believed in one nation, one people, one culture for India. He extended support for Indian diaspora to find their roots and connect to their ancestral family and friends in India. Atalji tried to established good relations with Pakistan and yet stood firm on Kashmir being part of India and fought Kargil War with Pakistan to drive them out of occupied area. I am sure his work and words will keep inspiring us all in every walk of life."
Sewa International president Gitesh Desai, said Atalji was AjatShatru, a friend of everybody and always went above and beyond party lines.
Remembering Vajpayee's famous lines, "Andhakar chathayga, suraj niklega and kamal khilega", Jugal Malani, the President of India House in Houston, said Vajpayee was a great orator and first non-congress premier to complete his five years.
Ramesh Bhutada, VP Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, a philanthropist shared vivid memories of Atalji's visit to Houston. He always made others feel very comfortable.
Achlesh Amar, coordinator OFBJP in Houston, said, "An era has ended with his demise as Atalji was instrumental in mainstreaming BJP and was the perfect combination of wit, wisdom and perseverance.
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