Some interesting things about politicians.
(Ref Marathi book “Sattachakra” by Jagan Phadanis and Ashok Jain. Published in Oct 1978)
Phadnis and Jain are reputed journalists in Marathi. I was re-reading this old book and came across some interesting things about some well known politicians, and so thought that I should share this.)
Had the habit of resigning very often!
He was not a believer in castes. He hated to be called a Jat leader! He used to say you don’t call other leaders by their caste’s leader so why me?
As a Chief Minister of UP he did not allow his coalition party to hold agitations during the visit of PM Indira Gandhi for Indian Science Congress at Varanasi. His objection was the PM has to be respected. To this effect he arrested Socialist leaders like Rajnarayan.
He was a teetotaler and a voracious reader.
Even when in power he lived a fairly simple life.
Had to face humiliation many times in his early life due to his caste.
As a school boy he was not allowed to drink water from the “Matka” for Hindu students. When a different mataka was provided for untouchables he did not like that and broke it. Finally the principal made sure that he could drink water from the common Matka!
He did not apply for scholarship that was available to him due to his caste. He wanted scholarships to be awarded on merit even at that age! He stood second in the school examination and earned the scholarship on merit.
Atal Bihari Vajpai:
A through nationalist. While leading a delegation abroad while in opposition he praised Indira, whom he was severely criticizing her at home! He said that was the right thing to do.
Subramaniam Swamy complained to Morarji that Vajpai had a drink in an embassy as FM.
When he was released on health grounds during emergency he tried to convince JP to withdraw the agitation and negotiate with Indira.
Nanaji Deshmukh wanted Morarji to divest Vajpai of foreign ministry because he was not following Jan Sangh agenda as FM.
He had to actually take the official positions in foreign policy as FM that was not his or his party’s stated position before they merged with Janata Party. Many erstwhile Jan Sanghis did not like it.
He had accused Indira of having entered into a secret pact with Bhutto during the Simla pact.
Advani as I & B Minister made sure that he and Vajpai got maximum exposure on official media! Charan Singh was livid because of this!
Ran away from home because his Father wanted him to become a priest.
Planned the downfall of S K Patil for five years and succeeded.
Lived on the streets of Mumbai till he got a job with TOI as proof reader.
Built the first ever union in the country for hotel and restaurant workers.
A born South Indian was adopted by North and fought many elections from there.
Won by record margin in 1977 when he was in jail.