Lal Krishna Advani, a veteran leader of Indian politics and a key figure in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was awarded the prestigious Bharat Ratna in 2024, recognizing his significant contributions to the nation.

Early Life and Political Entry

  • Born in 1927 in Karachi (now Pakistan).
  • Actively involved in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since his youth.
  • Joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) in 1951, the precursor to the BJP.
  • Elected to Lok Sabha in 1967, marking his parliamentary debut.

Political Rise and Key Roles:

  • Served as President of the BJP from 1986 to 1990 and 1993 to 1998.
  • Played a crucial role in building the BJP as a national force, leading the party’s Rath Yatra in 1990.
  • Deputy Prime Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government from 1998 to 2004, handling key portfolios like Home Affairs and Information & Broadcasting.
  • Led the opposition in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.

Significant Contributions:

  • Instrumental in shaping the BJP’s ideology and strategy, advocating for Hindutva and nationalism.
  • Oversaw key initiatives like the National Highway Development Project and Kargil War victory during his tenure as Deputy Prime Minister.
  • Recognized for his oratorical skills and strategic leadership within the BJP.

Controversies and Criticisms:

  • Associated with the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi movement, which remains a contentious issue.
  • Criticized for his role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
  • Accused of promoting communal politics and divisive rhetoric.

Legacy and Significance for UPSC Aspirants:

  • Advani’s political journey offers insights into the evolution of the BJP and its rise to power.
  • Understanding his contributions and controversies is crucial for analyzing Indian politics and social dynamics.
  • His life can be studied as a case study in leadership, ideology, and the complexities of Indian democracy.