An inspiration for all countrymen: Remembering Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji on his 117th birth anniversary

“Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” is the slogan given by our 2nd Prime Minister late Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji who was born on 2nd October 1904 in Mughalsarai of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He completed his graduation from Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926 where he was given the title of “Shastri” which translates to “scholar” in English. As he was against the caste system, he removed his surname and since then Shastri is known as his surname. Shastri Ji got married to Lalita Devi and he was so against the dowry system that he refused to take dowry from his father-in-law.

He desired to work for the upliftment of the poor and weak so he followed the footsteps of his idols and joined Lok Sevak Mandal which was established by Lala Lajpat Rai, as a member. Later in the 1920s, he actively contributed to the Non-cooperation movement. In the 1930s, he participated in salt satyagraha which pushed the British people so much that Shastri Ji was imprisoned for 2 years.

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Later in 1942, after Mahatma Gandhi issued his Quit India Speech, Lal Bahadur Shastri along with other Ministers was imprisoned for 4 more years. This did not diminish his zeal and he did not stop reading books and got thorough with works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reforms.

Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji was elected to the Legislature of the United Provinces in 1937-1946. After independence, in 1947 he was given the Portfolio of Transport and Home Ministry. Also, in 1952 he was the Railway Ministry. After the death of our First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru Ji, Shastri Ji succeeded him as a Prime Minister for 18 months.

He signed Tashkent Declaration on 10th January 1966 with Pakistan President Muhammad Ayub Khan to the 1965 war. He died on 11th January 1966 due to a heart attack but his death is still a mystery.

Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji was a man of great integrity and competence, full of simplicity, patriotism and honesty and in his honour there exists a memorial at Vijay Ghat, New Delhi.

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