Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Gujrat riots 2002

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s politics has often been contrasted with that of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A section of political analysts who criticise the far-right Hindutva sentiments that Modi’s regime has stoked often pit it against Vajpayee’s more ‘liberal’ views, though they belonged to the same party.

Of course, the flip side, which his political adversaries emphasise, is that with his light touch, humour and elegance, he gave a measure of acceptability to a contentious ideology and to hardline Hindutva.

“My one message to the chief minister is that he should follow raj dharma. A ruler should not make any discrimination between his subjects on the basis of caste, creed and religion.” — Atal Behari Vajpayee, during his visit to Ahmedabad on April 4, 2002, quoted in The Hindustan Times.

But this video of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Rajdeep Sardesai is a must watch.