Vajpayee's poems may be used to reform prisoners in jails, proposes UP minister

Poems penned by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which have inspired BJP workers for decades, may soon be recited in jails of Uttar Pradesh so that they leave a positive impact on the minds of inmates, if a suggestion made by a state minister is accepted.

Minister of State for Jails, Jai Kumar Jaiki, said the former prime minister's compositions could inspire many who have a criminal past to join the mainstream of the society.

"I would request the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) that if inmates of various jails in the state are told about the life, deeds and history of Atalji, and his poems are read out among them, it will definitely have a positive impact," Jaiki told reporters.

If jail inmates seek inspiration from Vajpayee's life, poems and struggles, I am confident they will shun crime and embrace the mainstream, he added.

Adityanath holds the jails department in the state and a minister of state, Jaiki is his deputy.

When Vajpayee turned 93 last December, the Yogi Adityanath government released 93 prisoners in his honour from various jails of Uttar Pradesh. These prisoners had completed their tenure in jail but could not be released due to non-payment of fines imposed on them.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are 71 jails with around 98,000 prisoners (including undertrials and convicts), a senior official said.

Former Prime Minister Vajpayee, one of India's most charismatic leaders who led the nation through several crises while holding together a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics and superlative oratory, died on August 16.

Vajpayee is the first and till now the only non-Congress leader who completed his full term as prime minister. Born in 1924, he had his baptism in politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He was also the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly in Hindi.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)