Vajpayee and Wadeker – the two best “Captains India” lost in 24 hours
Dharamshala, August 17, 2018: Within a span of 24 hours, India has lost two eminent leaders, two captains, one in politics another in sports, who at different points in time held supposedly the two most difficult posts in the country - that of a Cricket Captain and The Prime Minister. The first to call it a day on earth was former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar and soon to follow him was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Bharat Rattan Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25 December 1924 – 16 August 2018) was an Indian politician who thrice served as the Prime Minister of India, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, for a period of eleven months from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full term from 1999 to 2004.
He was a member of the Indian Parliament for over four decades, having been elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house, ten times, and twice to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. He served as the Member of Parliament for Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh until 2009 when he retired from active politics due to health concerns. Vajpayee was among the founding members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh which he also headed from 1968 to 1972. He was the Minister of External Affairs in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
When the Janata government collapsed, Vajpayee restructured the Jana Sangh into the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980. He was the first Indian prime minister who was not a member of the Indian National Congress party to have served a full five-year term in office.
He was conferred India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015. The Modi government declared in 2014 that Vajpayee's birthday, 25 December, would be marked as Good Governance Day. He died on 16 August 2018 due to age related illness.
Vajpayee remained a bachelor his entire life. He adopted Namita Bhattacharya, the daughter of BN Kaul and Rajkumari Kaul.
He was fond of Indian music and dance. He loved nature and one of his favourite retreats was in Parini , Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
A great connection for Himachal Pradesh.
He was a published poet, and with regard to his poetry he wrote, "My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier's drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior's will to win. It is not the desperate voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory."
Wadekar, who passed away on Wednesday aged 77. He had been critically unwell for sometime and was seeking treatment for the same from the Jaslok Hospital. He was so prolific in local and Ranji Trophy cricket that it was a surprise to many that he made his India debut as late as 1966 against Garry Sobers’ West Indies team. Five years later it was against Garry Sobers’ team that he led India for the first time and went on to win the series, beating West Indies for the first time. A couple of months after that he led India to another historic win when India beat England in England for the first time. He also was a successful manager/coach of the Indian team in the early ‘90s.
The aggressive batsman was a trailblazer in Indian cricket despite a mere 37 Test appearances, leading India to triumphs in England and the West Indies in 1971.
Wadekar scored 2,113 runs in his Test career, including one hundred.
He was also India's first ODI captain, although he appeared in just two matches.
He is survived by his wife Rekha, two sons and a daughter.