Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on 2 October 1904. He was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a leader of the Indian National Congress party.
Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Following independence in 1947, he joined the latter's government and became one of Prime Minister Nehru's principal lieutenants, first as Railways Minister (1951-56), and then in a variety of other functions, including Home Minister.
Shastri was chosen as Nehru's successor owing to his adherence to Nehruvian socialism after Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi turned down Congress President K. Kamaraj's offer of premiership.
Shastri participated in the Salt Satyagraha, in 1930. He was imprisoned for two and a half years. Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha support to the freedom movement.
Shastri as Prime Minister continued Nehru's policies of non-alignment and socialism. He became a national hero following the victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer") became very popular during the war and is remembered even today.
The war was formally ended in the Tashkent Agreement of 10 January 1966; he died the following day, still in Tashkent, of a heart attack on 11th January.
Let's recall the history of Lal Bahadur Shastriji through the slides below. .
Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru. Shastri, who belonged to the Kayastha caste, dropped his surname Srivastava as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system, a major principle of the Gandhian movement.
He was a follower of Gandhiji
Shastri also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans under Gandhi's direction at Muzaffarpur. Later he became the President of the Society.
Following India's independence, Shastri was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in his home state, Uttar Pradesh. He became the Minister of Police and Transport under Govind Ballabh Pant's Chief Ministership on 15 Aug 1947 following Rafi Ahmed Kidwai's departure to become a minister at centre.
As the Transport Minister
As the Transport Minister, he was the first to appoint women conductors. As the minister in charge of the Police Department, he ordered that police use jets of water instead of lathis to disperse unruly crowds.
Successes of the Congress Party
In 1951, Shastri was made the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister. He was directly responsible for the selection of candidates and the direction of publicity and electioneering activities. He played an important role in the landslide successes of the Congress Party in the Indian General Elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri's slogan
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri's slogan 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' reverberates even today through the length and breadth of the country. Underlying this is the inner-most sentiments 'Jai Hindustan'. The war of 1965 was fought and won for our self-respect and our national prestige.
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri with his family.