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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti: 17 things to know on his 110th birth anniversary

Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti: 17 things to know on his 110th birth anniversary

October 2 holds a special place in Indian history. Two of its greatest national leaders were born on 2nd October. While many know that Mahatma Gandhi was born on the 2nd October 1869, many don’t know that also India’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on the same date in 1904. Shashtriji was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his principles. It was Mahatma Gandhi who drew Shastriji’s attention to India’s independent movement.
Lal Bahadur Shashtri believed in Nehruvian economic policies and hence he was made the Prime Minister after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964. There are lot of episodes and things that one would like to know about Shashtriji. We take a look at them here:
1. Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in Ramnagar in Varanasi in a Kayastha family, but as Shastriji didn’t believe in caste discrimination, dropped his tittle. Later, when he graduated at Kashi Vidyapeeth, he was given the title of Shashtri (scholar).
2. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s fondness for Mahatma Gandhi is well known. Not many know that Shashtri was also influenced by Bal Gangadhar (Lokmanya) Tilak in his early days.
3. In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi call for youth to come out of schools and colleges and join the Non-Cooperation movement, Shahstri paid heed to that call. This also marked Shashtri’s first move/contribution towards India’s freedom.
4. Lal Bahadur Shastri went to jail as early as when he was 17-years-old. Jailed for his participation in non-cooperation movement, Shastri was later let-off as he was only 17 (minor) then.
5. In 1930, during the Civil Disobedience Movement Lal Bahadur Shastri was again jailed for his participation in it. This time Shastri served a jail-term of two and half years. Shastri learned about western philosophers and social reformers during his jail-term.
6. Lal Bahadur Shastri was also arrested in 1940, and 1941 till 1946. The fact will surprise you a bit that Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total during India’s Independence activism.
7. Not many know that the credit of appointing women conductors in transportation facilities go to Lal Bahadur Shastri. As a transport minister post-independence, Shastri achieved this feat.
8. Another little known fact about Lal Bahadur Shastri is that it was him who ordered using jets of water instead of lathis to disperse the crowd; during his charge as a minister of Police Department.
9. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the brain-child of landslide victories of the Congress party in General Elections 1952, 1957 and 1962.
10. In the recent 2014 Lok Sabha Elections from where Mohammad Kaif contested- Phulpur constituency, it was once used to be Lal Bahadur Shastri’s terrain.
11. Owing moral responsibility to a railway accident in Mahbubnagar in 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned as the Railway Minister – setting new standards of morality in public life.
12. The credit of first appointing the committee on Prevention of Corruption also goes to Lal Bahadur Shastri during his tenure as Union Home Minister.
13. It is a little known fact that after Nehru died, Indira Gandhi was first offered the post of Prime Ministership. Only after she declined, Lal Bahadur Shastri was made the PM.
14. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s first broadcast as Prime Minister said, “There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the cross-roads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.”
15. Lal Bahadur Shastri coined the phrase ‘Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan (Hail soldier, Hail Farmer)’ to enthuse the moral, during India’s successful war against Pakistan in 1965.
16. Lal Bahdaur Shastri’s leadership was hailed across the globe when he led India to victory in the Indo-Pak war of 1965.
17. Lal Bahadur Shashtri died due to cardiac arrest under suspicious circumstances in Tashkent, giving rise to reports of a deep-rooted conspiracy.

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