Lal Bahadur Shastri- One of the finest leader India has ever Produced
“Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” is a blood warming slogan given by one of the greatest freedom fighters. Second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri contributed a lot during India’s independence movement. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. He was born on the same date as of Gandhi on 2 October 1904 at Mughal Sarai, British India.
He was born to Shri. Sharada Prasad Srivastava, who was a school teacher and Smt. Ramdulari Devi, the headmaster and English teacher. Shastri’s father died due to bubonic plague when he was just a year and 6 months old. It was a very hard time for his family to live, but they were blessed to be helped by his maternal grandparents.
During that era, it was the custom in his family to pursue the education in the Urdu language and culture. Accordingly, Shastri received his education till sixth standard in Mughal Sarai. After that, he joined seventh standard at Harish Chandra High School. One among his teachers, Nishkameshwar Prasad Mishra helped him financially by allowing him to tutor his children. Shastri was inspired by Mishra’s patriotism and as he was interested in freedom struggle, he began to study history and about many eminent personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Gandhi and Annie Besant.
In January 1921, he attended a public meeting in Benares when he was in 10th standard. As Gandhi said to withdraw from government schools and join non-cooperation movement, Shastri did the same on next day. He joined the local Congress party and actively participated in picketing and anti-government demonstrations. He was arrested for a short time and as a minor he was released within few days.
Shastri graduated with first class degree in philosophy and ethics from Kashi Vidyapith, which was founded to educate the youth activist in nation’s heritage. He received a title “Shastri” which means a scholar. He then enrolled himself as a life member of Servants of the People Society which was founded by Lala Lajpat Rai and worked for the betterment of Harijans as directed by Gandhi. After few days, he became the president of the society.
In the year 1928, he became an active member of the Congress on the call of Gandhi and participated in Salt Satyagraha in 1930. Later, he worked as Organizing Secretary of the Parliament Board of UP in 1937. He was arrested many times for his active participation in all the protests against the British. He spent his time in jail by reading books and became familiar with western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers.
Following India’s Independence he first served his state as State Minister. Later, he was made the General Secretary when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of India. When Jawaharlal Nehru died in office, K. Kamaraj initiated Shastri to become the next Prime Minister on June 9.
His death was quite shocking and the circumstances were unbelievable by many of his supporters and close relatives. An epic poetry book named Lalita Ke Aansoo describes his death by his wife Lalitha Shastri.
Written By:Priyanka Kammar
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