|India second Prime Minister - Lal Bahadur Shastri|
Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966) was the second Prime Minister of India, who devoted his entire life in the service of the netion.
In his early years he had to face difficulties as his father Sharda Prasad died when Lal Bahadur was only two years old. Lal bahadur was born on 2nd October 1904 at Mughal Sarai in Uttar Pradesh. He grew up at his grandparent’s place. While still in the high school, he heard speeches of Lokmanya Tilak and Gandhiji, and decided to throw himself in the freedom struggle.
He left his studies and was arrested for taking part in a procession. Later he was allowed to go, as he was very young. Then he completed his education from the Kashi Vidyapeeth and got a degree of ‘Shastri’.
Then onwards his life was only for his country. He worked with Lala Lajpat Rai in ‘The Servants of the people Society’ and later became President of the same. He got married to Lalita Gauri in 1927.
As the freedom movement intensified, Lal Bahadur took active part in it. He worked at the grass-root levels, motivating the common and ignorant people to fight for the country’s honour. He was imprisoned on seven different occasions and spent more than nine years in jail.
Shastriji was a man of great integrity and honesty. Even in the jail he observed the rules and discipline. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, he went underground and worked from Anand Bhavan, Pt. Nehru’s home in Allahabad.
When India became independent, he was appointed as a Minister in the U.P. government. Even as a Minister of Police and Transport, he endeared himself to all with his smiling face and soft spoken ways. Impressed by his honesty, sincerity and hard work, Pt. Nehru appointed him as the Minister for the Railways and Transport in the Central Cabinet, in 1950. But after two consecutive rail accidents in 1956, he refused to continue and resigned, taking the responsibility of the accidents. Then he was the Minister for Commerce and Industries and in 1961 became the Home Minister.
After Pt. Nehru’s sudden death in 1964, Shastriji was unanimously elected as the Prime Minister of India. There were many problems facing him, mainly the hostile neighbouring countries. This tiny and soft spoken man showed a will of iron at the time of Pakistan invasion in 1965. ‘Force will be met by force’, were his words. On the suggestion of UNO, he went to Tashkent to sign a cease-fire treaty. But the strain took its toll on his frail health. After signing the treaty, he suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away at Tashkent on 11th January 1966.
|Lal Bahadur Shastri Family|
|Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri with party leaders - June 1964|