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Remembering Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary

Today is the first death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. President Ram Nath Kovid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many BJP leaders visited the memorial of the former prime minister in Delhi and paid their tributes.

One of India's tallest leaders

Awarded with the highest civilian award of India, Bharat Ratna, Vajpayee stood like a colossus in Indian politics.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Exemplary leadership

A political persona known for his exemplary leadership, Vajpayee is the only non-Congress leader who served the nation as the prime minister and completed his full term.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Life and times

Vajpayee was born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on  December 25, 1924, in Gwalior. He completed his schooling from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gorkhi, Bara, Gwalior and went on to Victoria College (now Laxmi Bai College), where he graduated with distinction in Hindi, English and Sanskrit. He then completed his post-graduation with an MA in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, and was awarded a first-class degree.

(Photograph:Others)

RSS calling

Influenced by Babasaheb Apte, he attended the Officers Training Camp of the RSS during 1940-44 and became a "full-time worker" in 1947, technically a pracharak.

(Photograph:Reuters)

The Vajpayee era

Many called him the greatest prime minister that India ever had.

He stitched political parties of all hues and kept them together. As foreign minister, he opened channels of communications with China and the Middle East. As prime minister, Vajpayee not only brought India and Pakistan closer despite a military conflict, but also established closer connect among the SAARC nations.

(Photograph:Others)