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      Freedom fighter, late Pandit Mohan Malaviya and former Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee have joined the prestigious club of 43 eminent personalities after the Prime Minister Office announced to honour them with India’s highest civilian order – Bharat Ratna – for their service to the nation.  The announcement from Rashtrapati Bhavan was made ahead of Mr.Vajpayee’s 90th birthday on December 25, 2014, and the 153rd birth anniversary  of Pt.Malaviya.

       Pandit M.M. Malaviya (1861-1946) a barrister by profession, played a significant role in India’s independence and for the cause of education.  He was four-time President of Indian National Congress, before Independence.  He was respectfully addressed as Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and also called as ‘Mahamana’.  He established the renowned Banaras Hindu University in collaboration with Annie Besant in 1915 and launched the Hindi edition of Hindustan Times.  He also founded a highly influential English newspaper.  The leader published from Allahabad in 1909.  He fought against social barriers, mobilised the Dalits to demand entry into temples and led the Hindu Mahasabha.  He also fought in Swadeshi `Boy India’ Movement.

    Mr.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee (b..1924), a statesman, orator and poet of the highest order, is a veteran politician who is respected and revered across the party-lines for his humility and austerity.  He is considered one of the most outstanding politicians post-Independence.  A leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he is the first Prime Minister from outside the Indian National Congress party to serve a full five-year term successfully.  Even his successor, Dr. Manmohan Singh called him the ‘Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics’.  A parliamentarian for over four decades, he is credited with launching the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and making India into a nuclear power. 

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