‘Jai Jawan Jai Kissan’- this famous slogan was quoted by Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime minister and one of the greatest statesmen of India. 11th of January 2022 marks the 56th death anniversary of this great legend. A soft-spoken, down to earth, humble man, Shastriji has left his footprints in history as a truly strong leader. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastriji took over as the second prime minister of our country in May 1964.
Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Death Anniversary – History
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born at Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh on October 02, 1904. His father was Sharada Prasad Shrivastava and his mother was Ramdulari Devi.
Shastriji had dedicated more than 30 years to serving our country and was known as a man of great competence and integrity. He was also a man of great inner strength, tolerance and humility. He was a people’s man and was also a man of vision towards the progress of the country.
Lal Bahadur Shastri former education was at East Central Railway Inter College in Mughalsarai and Varanasi. In 1926, he completed his graduation from the Kashi Vidyapeeth. Vidyapeeth gave him the title “Shastri” which means “Scholar” as a part of his bachelor’s degree award. But this title was then added to his name. Shastriji was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and Tilak.
He tied the knot with Lalita Devi on 16 May 1928. He accepted a Khadi cloth and spinning wheel as a form of dowry for his wedding. He became a life member of the Lok Sevak Mandal (Servants of the People Society), founded by Lala Lajpat Rai. There he started his service for the upliftment of backward classes, and later on, he became the President of the same Society.
It was in the 1920s that Shastriji joined the Indian Independence Movement, in which he took part in the non-cooperation movement. He was, as a result, imprisoned for some time by the Britishers.
A Glimpse into the life of Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri had a way with the common folk. They loved him for the way he connected with them. Here’s to remembering the inspirational figure he was:
- It was at the age of 16 that Shastri joined the non-cooperation movement against the British. He joined the fight against colonial rule soon after Mahatma Gandhi called upon the countrymen to unite and fight for independence.
- It was during his time as the Prime minister that the country was at war with Pakistan and facing a crisis of food shortage. Eventually, he stopped drawing his salary.
- He played a vital role in the White Revolution to make our country self-reliant in the production of milk. Lal Bahadur Shastri, as a result, created the National Dairy Development Board and also gave backup support to the Amul milk co-operative in Gujarat’s Anand.
- During the 1965 war, Shastriji’s slogan ‘Jai jawan Jai kisan’ meaning ‘Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer’ became a morale booster for the soldiers and farmers amid the crucial war and food scarcity.
- Shastriji raised his voice against the caste system and dowry system.
- He was a disciplinarian with high self-esteem and morals. After becoming the prime minister, he did not even own a car.
- As a man of prodigious integrity, Lal Bahadur Shastri felt responsible and hence resigned from his post as the Railway minister, owing to the loss of lives in a railway accident.
- For boosting India’s food production as well as promoting farmers’ prosperity, Lal Bahadur Shastri promoted the Green Revolution in the year 1965, which eventually led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
- As a Prime Minister, his tenure was only for 19 months. He died from a heart attack on January 11 1966 in Tashkent. Shastriji was succeeded by Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi.
Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Famous Quotes
- “We believe in peace and peaceful development, not only for ourselves but for people all over the world.”
- “True democracy or the swaraj of the masses can never come through untruthful and violent means, for the simple reason that the natural corollary to their use would be to remove all opposition through the suppression or extermination of the antagonist.”
- “There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go.”
- “India will have to hang down her head in shame if even one person is left who is said in any way to be untouchable.”
- “We have now to fight for peace with the same courage and determination as we fought against aggression.”
An idealistic man, Lal Bahadur Shastri was instrumental in bringing peace and harmony between India and Pakistan. Remembering Lal Bahadur Shastri as a freedom fighter, as a man of honour and dignity for his great achievements.