Madan Mohan Malaviya & Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Madan Mohan Malaviya
Born: 25 December 1861
Died: 12 November 1946
- He was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement and as the four times president of the Indian National Congress.
- He was respectfully addressed as Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and also addressed as Mahamana.
- He strived to promote modern education among Indians and eventually founded Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, which was created under the B.H.U. Act, 1915.
- The largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world, having over 40,000 students across arts, sciences, engineering, linguistic, Ritual medical, agriculture, performing arts, law, and technology from all over the world.
- He was Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919–1938.
- He is also remembered for his role in ending the Indian indenture system, especially in the Caribbean.
- His efforts in helping the Indo-Caribbeans are compared to Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts of helping Indian South Africans.
- He was one of the founders of Scouting in India.
- He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909.
- He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946.
- His efforts resulted in the launch of its Hindi edition named Hindustan Dainik in 1936.
- He was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on 24 December 2014, a day before his 153rd Birth Anniversary.
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Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Born: 25 December 1924
Died: 16 August 2018
- He was an Indian politician, statesman and a poet who served three terms as the Prime Minister of India, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and finally, for a full term from 1999 to 2004.
- A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 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 a member of the Indian Parliament for over five 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 until 2009 when he retired from active politics due to health concerns.
- He was among the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), of which he was the president from 1968 to 1972.
- The BJS merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party, which won the 1977 general election.
- He became the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
- He resigned in 1979, and the Janata alliance collapsed soon after.
- The erstwhile members of the BJS formed the BJP in 1980, with Vajpayee as its first president.
- During his tenure as prime minister, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
- He sought to improve diplomatic relations with Pakistan, traveling to Lahore by bus to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
- After the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, he sought to restore relations through engaging with President Pervez Musharraf, inviting him to India for a summit at Agra.
- He was conferred India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015.
- The administration of Narendra Modi declared in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, 25 December, would be marked as Good Governance Day.
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December 25, 2019