Late Sh. Lal Bahadur
Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 at Mughalsarai,
Uttar Pradesh. His parents were Shri Sharada Prasad and Ramdulari
Devi. Lal Bahadur’s surname was Srivastava but he dropped
it as he did not want to indicate his caste. Lal Bahadur’s
father was a school teacher and later on he became a clerk
in the Revenue Office at Allahabad.Though Sharada Prasad was
poor, he lived a life of honesty and integrity. Lal Bahadur
lost his father when he was only one. Ramdulari Devi raised
Lal Bahadur and her two daughters at her father’s house.
Lal Bahadur joined Kashi Vidya Peeth and for four years he
studied philosophy. In 1926, Lal Bahadur earned the degree
of “Shastri”. After leaving Kashi Vidya Peeth,
Lal Bahadur Shastri joined “The Servants of the People
Society”, which Lala Lajpat Rai had started in 1921.
The aim of the Society was to train youths that were prepared
to dedicate their lives in the service of the country.
1927, Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalita Devi. The marriage
ceremony was very simple and Shastriji took only a charkha
(spinning wheel) and few yards of Khadi in dowry. After Second
World War started in 1939. Congress launched “Individual
Satyagraha” in 1940 to demand freedom. Lal Bahadur Shastri
was arrested during Individual Satyagraha and released after
one year. On August 8, 1942, Gandhiji gave the call for Quit
India Movement. Lal Bahadur actively participated in the movement.
He went underground but was later arrested. Lal Bahadur Shastri
was released in 1945 along with other major leaders. He earned
the praise of Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant by his hard work
during this time. When Govind Vallabh Pant became the Chief
Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he appointed Lal Bahadur Shastri
as his Parliamentary Secretary, in 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri
became the Minister of Police and Transport in Pant’s
Cabinet. In the next general elections when Congress returned
to power. Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Minister for Transport
and Communications and later the Minister for Commerce and
the death of Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri
was unanimously elected as the Prime Minister of India. It
was a difficult time and the country was facing huge challenges.
There was food shortage in the country and Pakistan was creating
problems. In 1965, Pakistan tried to take advantage of India’s
vulnerability and attacked India. Mild-mannered Lal Bahadur
Shastri rose to the occasion and led the country ably. To
enthuse soldiers and farmers he coined the slogan of “Jai
Jawan, Jai Kisan”. Pakistan lost the war and Shastriji’s
leadership was praised all over the world.
January 1966, to broke peace between India and Pakistan, Russia
mediated a meeting between Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ayub Khan
in Tashkent, Russia, India and Pakistan signed the joint declaration
under Russian mediation. Under the treaty India agreed to
return to Pakistan all the territories occupied by it during
the war. The joint declaration was signed on January 10, 1966
and Lal Bahadur Shastri died of heart attack on the same night.