‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’
(Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer)
– Former Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri
During the 22-day war with Pakistan in 1965
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, our second Prime Minister who was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, was born on 2nd October 1904. Today is his 109th birthday.
Shastriji graduated with a first-class degree from the Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926. He was given the title Shastri (“Scholar”) that was a bachelor’s degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth.
He was a freedom fighter since 1921. Shastriji worked for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur. He participated in the non-cooperation movement, in the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and sent to prison two times also. He participated in Quit India Movement and imprisoned again. Shastriji spent almost nine years in jail in total. After independence, Shastriji became the Minister of Police and Transport (Home Minister prior to 1950) he was the first to appoint women conductors. He successfully handled communal riots in 1947, mass migration and resettlement of refugees.
He served as the Minister of Railways and Transport in the Central Cabinet (13 May 1952 – 7 December 1956), the Minister for Transport and Communications (In 1957) and then the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In 1961, he became Home Minister. As Union Home Minister, he appointed the Committee on Prevention of Corruption.
He was the Prime Minister of India during 9 June 1964 – 11 January 1966. It was a mistery that he died on 11 January 1966 at Tashkent, Soviet Union (now in Uzbekistan).
Shastri was known for his honesty and humility. A memorial “Vijay Ghat” was built for him in Delhi. Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (Mussorie, Uttarakhand), is established after his name. The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute was named after Shastri due to his role in promoting scholarly activity between India and Canada. Today Lal Bhadur Shastri Memorial run by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Memorial Trust, New Delhi.
Although he was born in Uttarpradesh, when I see the topiwala senior citizens of Maharashtra, I remember Shastriji. Let us recall his contribution to India on his birthday.
More information about Shastriji:
Kannada readers, I am sorry 🙁 I am unable to type in Kannada since a week due to some problem in ‘translation tab’.