Lal Bahadur Shastri, (born October 2, 1904, Mughalsarai, India—died January 11, 1966, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, U.S.S.R.), Indian statesman, prime minister of India (1964–66) after Jawaharlal Nehru.
Also, a member of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement against the British government in India, he got in prison for a short time (1921). So upon release, he studied in the Kashi Vidyapitha, a nationalist university. Also, where he graduated with the title of Shastri (“learned in the scriptures”). So, he then return to politics as a follower of Gandhi, got in prison several more times. Also, and attain influential positions in the Congress Party of the state of the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh state.
How did Sashtri gain experience?
Shastri got elected to the legislature of the United Provinces in 1937 and 1946. After Indian independence, Shastri gain experience as a minister for home affairs and transport in Uttar Pradesh. He again got elect to the central Indian legislature in 1952 and became union minister for railways and transport.
He gained a reputation as a skilful mediator after his appointment to the influential post of minister for home affairs in 1961. Three years later, on Jawaharlal Nehru’s illness, Shastri was appointed minister without portfolio, and after Nehru’s death, he became prime minister in June 1964.
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Shastri was criticized for failing to deal effectively with India’s economic problems, but he won great popularity for his firmness on the outbreak of hostilities with neighbouring Pakistan (1965) over the disputed Kashmir region. He died of a heart attack after signing a “no-war” agreement with Pres. Ayub Khan of Pakistan and was succeeded as prime minister by Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter.
- Born: 2nd October 1904
- Birth Place: Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- Father: Sharada Prasad Shrivastava
- Mother: Ramdulari Devi
- Wife: Lalita Devi
- Political Association: Indian National Congress
- Movement: Indian Independence Movement
- Death: 11 January 1966
- Memorial: Vijay Ghat, New Delhi
Also, Lal Bahadur Shastri studied at East Central Railway Inter College in Mughalsarai and Varanasi. So he completed his graduation from the Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926. Also, he was given the title “Shastri” meaning “Scholar” by Vidya Peeth as a part of his bachelor’s degree award. But this title got into his name. Shastri was very much influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and Tilak.
Also, he got married to Lalita Devi on 16 May 1928. So he became a life member of the Servants of the People Society (Lok Sevak Mandal), founded by Lala Lajpat Rai. Also, here he started to work for the upliftment of backward classes, and later he became the President of that Society.
But during the 1920s, Shastri Ji joined the Indian Independence Movement, in which he participated in the non-cooperation movement.
Post India’s Independence, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Parliamentary Secretary in U.P. He also became the Minister of Police and Transport in 1947. As a Transport Minister, he had appointed women conductors for the first time. Being the minister in charge of the Police Department, he passed the order that police should use jets of water and not lathis to disperse the agitated crowds.
In 1951, Shastri got appointed as the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee and got success in carrying out the publicity and other activities related to the election. In 1952, he got elected to Rajya Sabha from U.P. Being the Railway Minister, he installed the first machine at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai in 1955.
In 1957, Shastri again became the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In 1961, he got appointed as Home Minister, and he appoint the Committee on Prevention of Corruption. He creates the famous “Shastri Formula” which consists of the language agitations in Assam and Punjab.
Lal Bahadur Shastri died due to a heart attack on 11 January 1966. He got the award the Bharat Ratna India’s highest civilian award posthumously in 1966.
Sashtri was humble, tolerant with great inner strength who understood the language of the common man. He is deeply influence by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and was also a man of vision who led countries towards progress.
Some unknown facts about Lal Bahadur Shastri
- India’s 2nd Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi that is on 2nd October.
- In 1926, he got the title ‘Shastri’ in Kashi Vidyapeeth University as a mark of scholarly success.
- Shastri swim the Ganges twice a day to attend school and tied books on the top of their head because he didn’t have enough money at that time to take a boat.
- When Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he was the first person who had used jets of water to disperse the crowd instead of the lathi charge.
- He introduced the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” and played a pivotal role in shaping India’s future.
- He went to jail because he part of the Non-Cooperation movement at the time of the Freedom Struggle with Gandhi Ji but he was let off as he still a minor of 17 years.
- As a Transport Minister after independence, he introduced the provision of female drivers and conductors in public transportation.