Lal Bahadur Shastri was an amiable and unmoved personality. Symbol of simplicity Shastri worked for the development of the country every moment. Shastri, who had bravely faced every problem in his life, never gave up his integrity. Lal Bahadur Shastri, a humble possessor of strong self-power and a favourite of all for his status and qualities, was the second Prime Minister of independent India.
Biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri
|Name||Lal Bahadur Shastri|
|Date of Birth||October 2,1904|
|Place of Birth||Mughalsarai village in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh|
|Family||Sharda Prasad Srivastava (Father), Ram Dulari Devi (Mother), Lalita Devi (Wife)|
|Education||Harishchandra School in Varanasi|
Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi
|Awards||Bharat Ratna (1966)|
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2,1904 in a small area called Mughalsarai, seven miles from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Shastri’s father was a teacher by profession. But when Shastri was of one and a half year his father died. After his father’s death, mother Ramdullari Devi moved to her father’s house after facing various challenges with three children. Shastri’s childhood went through severe trauma. Shastri who grew up with lack of undue walked a long way to school without shoes in the hot sun. Lal Bahadur Shastri even swam across the river to cross the river as he had a money shortage to cross by boat. Yet he never gave up on the battle of life.
Also Read: Biography of Rajendra Prasad
Lal Bahadur Shastri as a Freedom fighter
Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man who believed in Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence policy. Not only the principle of non-violence but he also believed that Mahatma Gandhi’s “hard work is equal to prayer” and continued his efforts to convert this into a work of speech. Lal Bahadur Shastri actively participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 at the age of 16. Shastri was imprisoned at a young age for participating in the agitation. However, living in captivity made Lal Bahadur a great extent experienced in the field of classical struggle and matured during this period.
Importantly, during India’s Independence Movement, various institutions were formed against British rule. One of them was Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. Lal Bahadur Shastri took up teaching at this Kashi Vidyapeeth. Importantly, this Vidyapeeth gave him the title of ‘Shastri’ as a bachelor’s degree. The opposition of caste practice, Lal Bahadur Shastri then gave up the title Srivastava acquired by birth and later introduced himself to the title Shastri.
Along with Caste System Lal Bahadur Shastri was also against the Dowry Practice. He was married to Lalita Devi of Mirzapur near his home town in 1927 in a completely traditional manner. But he did not accepted the dowry despite repeated requests from the in-law’s house during the wedding. However, he later accepted only five yard (1 yard = 0.914 m) of khadder cloth in respect of the father-in-law’s request as a dowry.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, who played a key role in India’s freedom struggle after India came to power after independence in 1947, was appointed parliamentary secretary of his home city Uttar Pradesh. After Lal Bahadur Shastri came to New Delhi in 1951, various posts of the Union Cabinet – Minister of Railways, Transport and Communications in 1952; Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1959; He served as home minister in 1961. However, not only did he performed his duties as a minister but Lal Bahadur Shastri also took up various tasks to strengthen the organizational base of the Congress party. Shastri’s appearance is immense in the end of the Congress party’s huge success in the general elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.
Importantly, a train accident took place at Mahbubnagar Andhra Pradesh when Shastri served as Railway Minister.112 persons lost their lives in the accident. Shastri had resigned as a railway minister at this time accepting all his responsibility for the accident. This resignation of Lal Bahadur Shastri set the ideal for establishing constitutional justice in the country.
His financial condition deteriorated after he resigned as railway minister. He also lacked money to run the family normally at that time. During this time, on the advice of Kuldeep Nair, Shastri had written articles in newspapers and performed the responsibility of maintaining a family by earning a few.
Shastri, who has always maintained the spirit of working for the people, for the first time to prevent corruption while he was the Home Minister of India. The ‘Anti Corruption Committee’ (Committee on Prevention of Corruption) was formed in 1964 by appointing K Santhanam as president.
Positively, Lal Bahadur Shastri introduced the tradition of appointing women drivers and women conductors in the first transport department while serving as the Transport Minister of India.
Lal Bahadur Shastri introduced the method of using water jets by stopping lathi-charges that have been prevalent since past to disperse the people.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was sworn in as the second Prime Minister of independent India in May 1964 after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Lal Bahadur Shastri took over as the Prime Minister of India at a challenging time for India. India remained economically deserted when China invaded India in 1962. Apart from this, India was surrounded by various problems like unemployment, food shortages etc.
Soon after taking over as Prime Minister, Pakistan invaded India in 1965. But Shastri tackled that situation at that time. He dared to take up a full-stage war against Pakistan at that time and that is when the wisdom of the Indian Air Force and the Ground Army came to the force for the first time. And India won this war. Significantly, the Indo-Pakistan peace agreement ‘Touchcant Agreement’ was signed on January 10, 1966 after the end of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. During the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, Shastri inspired everyone with the slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s plan was to establish India as a self-reliant India to the world as a completely independent democratic country without the absence of the two most powerful countries of the world, the United States and the former Soviet Russia. Shastri also stressed on strengthening India’s nuclear power. It may be recalled that during his reign, nuclear physicist Padma Bhushan Homi Jahangir. Bhabha was entrusted with all the trials related to nuclear energy.
Lal Bahadur Shastri also contributed to the white revolution and the green revolution in India. Shastri succeeded in providing a strong leadership across the country only after being in charge of the Prime Minister for 19 months.
Importantly, he had no personal vehicles even during his time as a Prime Minister. It was only on repeated requests of the family that he took a fiat car by adding Punjab National Bank loan with a accumulated salary of Rs 7,000. His car was paying off the loan till the time of his death and with the pension money after his death, Shastri’s wife had fully repaid the remaining bank loan by paying little by little.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, who worked with a warm heart at every time with the spirit of taking the country forward, died mysteriously when the Peace Agreement between India and Pakistan was signed at midnight i.e. January 11. The mystery of this death has not been revealed even today. This death remained a mystery till today.
On the other hand, thirteen days after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Homi Jahangir Bhabha was on his way to Geneva on an Air India flight on January 24, 1966. Homi Jahangir Bhabha plane suddenly exploded in the sky and Homi Jahangir Bhava succumbed to his death. The death of Jahangir Bhabha, who led India’s nuclear fiber, there were allegations at the time that it was a well planned murder. In addition, a few days after Shastri’s death, his personal doctor Dr RN Sag and chef Ramnath also died separately after their car crashed.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, a symbol of honesty and humanity, was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1966. And Vijay Ghat was built in Delhi in the memory of Shastri. In addition, there are several other social institutions in his memory including Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (Mussoories, Uttarakhand) etc. and many other educational institutions.
The relevance of Lal Bahadur still exists in the context of national life in India. Lal Bahadur Shastri worked diligently for the society for more than thirty years. The humble and soft-spoken leader took over as prime minister and gave a strong leadership to the entire India. All his qualities like honesty, simplicity, saintliness, prudence are very relevant still today. He launched a new horizon in the society through several new initiatives by serving as prime minister for a very short period of time. In a political sector where values are being eroded today, power is being misused, it is necessary to imitate a person of strong personality like Shastri who takes a new look at post-independence India. He is a symbol of ideals.
1. When and where was Lal Bahadur Shastri born?
Ans: He was born on October 2,1904 at Mughalsarai village in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.
2. When did Lal Bahadur Shastri sworn in as a second prime minister of India?
Ans: Lal Bahadur Shastri sworn in as the second Prime Minister of independent India in May 1964.
3. When did Pakistan invaded India?
Ans: Pakistan invaded India in 1965.
4. When did Indo-Pakistan peace agreement was signed?
Ans: The Indo-Pakistan peace agreement ‘Touchcant Agreement’ was signed on January 10, 1966
5. When did China invaded India?
Ans: China invaded India in 1962.
6. When did The Anti Corruption Committee was formed?
Ans: The ‘Anti Corruption Committee’ (Committee on Prevention of Corruption) was formed in 1964.
7. When did Lal Bahadur Shastri was awarded with Bharat Ratna Award?
Ans: He was awarded with Bharat Ratna Award in 1966.
8. When did Shastri died?
Ans: He died mysteriously when the Peace Agreement between India and Pakistan was signed at midnight i.e. January 11,1966.
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