Lal Bahadur Shastri, born on October 2, 1904, in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh, was an exceptional leader and the second Prime Minister of India. His life was dedicated to India’s freedom struggle and its progress. Shastri coined the iconic slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan,” reflecting the importance of both the soldiers protecting the nation and the farmers feeding it.
During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Shastri showcased exemplary leadership, guiding the country through challenging times. The Tashkent Agreement, which aimed at peace between India and Pakistan after the war, stands as a testament to his diplomatic skills and commitment to peace.
Shastri was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence and simplicity. His birth anniversary coinciding with Gandhi Jayanti reflects the values and dedication they shared towards the nation’s welfare.
His tenure as Prime Minister also witnessed the initiation of the Green Revolution, revolutionizing agricultural practices in India and ensuring food security for the nation.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, often called the “Man of Peace,” was India’s second Prime Minister after the country gained independence. He became well-known for creating the powerful slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” which honors both soldiers and farmers. Let’s explore more about the life of this remarkable figure from Indian history.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904, in Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. His father was Sharada Prasad Shrivastava and his mother was Ramdulari Devi.
He attended the East Central Railway Inter College in Mughalsarai and Varanasi. In 1926, he graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth, earning the title of “Shastri,” which means “Scholar” in English. This title became a part of his name.
Since his early days, Shastri was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles. Inspired by Gandhi, he aspired to assist the underprivileged and weaker sections of society. He became a member of the Servants of the People Society, also known as Lok Sevak Mandal, established by Lala Lajpat Rai.
Education and Marriage of Lal Bahadur Shastri
Since he was a kid, Lal Bahadur Shastri was very honest and hardworking. He did really well in his studies and even got a special title called Shastri Scholar after graduating in 1926. He learned important qualities like bravery, patience, self-control, politeness, and caring for others during his childhood.
Shastri wanted to join the freedom movement, so he focused more on that than on his studies. Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalita Devi, and they had six children: Kusum, Hari Krishna, Suman, Anil, Sunil, and Ashok.
Contribution in Freedom Movement
As a young boy, Lal Bahadur Shastri felt a strong pull towards India’s fight for freedom. Gandhi’s speech at the Banaras Hindu University deeply impressed him, leading him to become a devoted follower of Gandhi and actively join the freedom movement. This commitment resulted in him being jailed several times.
Shastri strongly believed that a nation’s strength lies in its ability to sustain itself and be self-reliant. He wanted to be remembered for his actions rather than just making impressive speeches with big promises. He opposed the caste system prevalent at that time and, after finishing his studies, chose to drop his surname, adopting “Shastri” as a title instead.
Early Inspiration and Entry into Freedom Movement:
Lal Bahadur Shastri’s inclination towards India’s freedom struggle ignited during his boyhood. Gandhi’s impactful speech at the Banaras Hindu University deeply influenced him, prompting his allegiance to Gandhi and his active involvement in the freedom movement. However, this commitment to the cause resulted in Shastri facing imprisonment on multiple occasions.
Beliefs and Vision for the Nation:
Shastri firmly advocated for self-sufficiency and self-reliance as the foundational pillars for building a strong nation. He prioritized actions over rhetoric, aspiring to leave behind a legacy of tangible accomplishments rather than relying solely on impressive speeches or grand promises. His opposition to the prevailing caste system led him to discard his surname post-graduation, embracing “Shastri” as a title instead.
Contribution to the Freedom Struggle of India
During the 1920s, Lal Bahadur Shastri actively participated in India’s fight for . He played a significant role in the non-cooperation movement, and his involvement had such an impact that the British authorities imprisoned him for a while.
Undeterred by this, in 1930, he joined the Salt Satyagraha, a movement against the British salt tax. For this, he was sentenced to a two-year imprisonment by the East India Company. However, even this lengthy prison term couldn’t diminish his determination.
In 1937, Shastri became the Organizing Secretary for the parliamentary Board of U.P. Following Mahatma Gandhi’s call for the Quit India Movement in 1942, many prominent leaders, including Lal Bahadur Shastri, were imprisoned. He remained incarcerated for four years until his release in 1946.
Even while in prison, Shastri continued his intellectual pursuits, extensively reading books by Western philosophers, revolutionaries, and social reformers, enhancing his knowledge during this period.
Political Career of Lal Bahadur Shastri
After India gained independence in 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri held roles in the Transport and Home Ministry. In 1952, he became the railway minister. Following the passing of Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastri took over as Prime Minister for a brief period of just 18 months. He achieved notable success during the 1965 war with Pakistan. Unfortunately, on January 11, 1966, Shastri suffered a severe heart attack and passed away.
Early Government Roles and Rise to Prime Minister ship:
After India gained independence in 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri held significant portfolios such as Transport and Home Ministry. In 1952, he assumed the role of Railway Minister. Upon the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastri succeeded him as Prime Minister, albeit for a brief tenure of only 18 months.
Achievements and Contributions:
During the 1965 war with Pakistan, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s leadership brought about significant achievements for India post the victory. Unfortunately, on January 11, 1966, he suffered a severe heart attack and passed away.
Noteworthy Traits and Reforms:
Recognized as the second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri was not only a remarkable leader but also a recipient of the prestigious “Bharat Ratna” award. He popularized the famous slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.” Shastri dedicated his time to studying the works of social reformers and Western philosophers. He vehemently opposed the dowry system, refusing to accept dowry from his father-in-law.
Shastri actively addressed fundamental issues such as food scarcity, unemployment, and poverty. To combat the acute food shortage, he urged experts to devise a sustainable strategy, laying the foundation for the renowned “Green Revolution.” His demeanor was characterized by a gentle and soft-spoken nature.
Stance during Conflicts and Ministerial Roles:
Following the Chinese aggression of 1962, India faced further challenges from Pakistan in 1965 during Shastri’s tenure. He exhibited strong leadership, asserting India’s stance against aggression by declaring that India wouldn’t passively observe. He empowered the Security Forces, emphasizing, “Force will be met with force.”
Prior to assuming the role of Prime Minister, Shastri served in various ministries such as Transport and Communications, Commerce and Industry, and Home. Notably, in 1961, he established the “Committee on Prevention of Corruption,” headed by K. Santhanam.
Lal Bahadur Shastri Essay in English 10 Lines
In conclusion, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s life was marked by unwavering dedication to India’s freedom struggle. His active participation in movements like the non-cooperation and Salt Satyagraha against British rule showcased his commitment to the nation’s cause, even enduring imprisonments.
His resilience and continuous pursuit of knowledge, even while incarcerated, reflect his determination and intellectual depth. Shastri’s journey from a passionate freedom fighter to becoming India’s Prime Minister was a testament to his selfless service and unwavering resolve for the betterment of the nation. His legacy as a leader and his profound impact on India’s history remain an inspiration for generations to come.