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Atal Ji Was A Master At Reconciling Diverse Views: Murli Manohar Joshi

Murli Manohar Joshi, Former BJP president, a Cabinet Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet, spoke to Prabodh Krishna of BW Businessworld

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Vajpayee was someone who can’t be captured in a few memories. He was awesome and his perspective and aura were larger than life. Nationally or internationally, his image was not limited to certain boundaries. He was a true icon of collective governance. You need to have that something extra charismatic in you for reaching that stature.

Vajpayee will always be remembered for creating a new paradigm the most holistic way it is possible. We would call it both international and national. In my words, he was the father of politics of reconciliation and harmonisation. He never believed in what we call, rubbing the people the wrong way. If someone had any idea he would try the best way possible to bring that idea to a common consensual conclusion. 

How was it practical to carry with twenty parties without turbulence? It was a master craftsmanship. It is no joke to go ahead with parties that have different ideologies and ideas, different dispensations, different attitudes and even very different political culture. 

It was magical, how it all worked like family! It was the family system of work that made such a relatively large coalition government successful. 

Nothing was left untouched, the economy grew, productivity grew, the roads that were connecting urban areas until, they started reaching out to the lifeline of India, the villages. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the beginning of exponential rate of connecting networks of optical fibre started. 

On the international front, connecting with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, it started with never before pace. In fact, it was the pace that also started with Pakistan to build connections. The whole approach was of reconciling the different viewpoints and taking them forward. 

He could have done masterwork when it comes to reconciliation. The fundamental changes that transformed the then economic system of India were made due to the art of reconciliation. It was a time when people who believed in Swadeshi were on top and the people who believed in globalisation were also on top standing together contributing to the national growth and working together for prosperous economic future of the nation. The people who were the believer of disinvestment were there with the people who never believed in disinvestment but they worked together. 

If there was another point or approach he would have found a way to come to a common point to a common conclusion. He would have pursued it to a level to make it acceptable to the whole cabinet, one cabinet one conclusion. He never imposed his views on anyone, for instance, if he did not like disinvestment of some assets he never said, no! I don’t like it. 

I was part of the cabinet and even no decision without consensus or as I said reconciliation had ever been taken for any portfolio. Ministry of human resources was also the part of that and it never took any decision without common consensus. 

The structure is strong that we created from the days of Jansangh to this era where we have reached out to masses of India, it is very strong and prosperity is all it has in its future. It will reach to a future and goal it was created for. I find the future of nation along with the future of BJP, secure and flying high. 

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