Lal Bahadur Shastri- Essay
Lal Bahadur Shastri was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress who also went on to become the second prime minister of India. Mahatma Gandhi had a profound influence on him, and he joined the struggle for independence in the 1920s. After India gained independence, he became a member of Nehru's government. He became one of Prime Minister Nehru's principals as the railway minister. Later, he held a number of portfolios, including the Home Minister.
He was also the leader of the country in the Indo-Pak War of 1965 and gave the slogan "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan", which is still very popular today. The Tashkent Agreement, dated January 10, 1966, officially ended the war. The next day saw his untimely demise. Even though Lal Bahadur Shastri was believed to have died from cardiac arrest, his family was not satiated with it.
Lal Bahadur Shastri, a Mughal Sarai native, was born on October 2, 1904. His paternal grandparents were under the Zamindar at Ramnagar, near Varanasi. Shastri's father, a teacher at school, later became a clerk at the Allahabad revenue office. Shastri was the oldest son of his parents. However, he was also the second-oldest child. His elder sister was Kailashi Devi. Shastri's father passed away in an epidemic of bubonic disease when he was just one-and-a-half years old. His mother, Smt. Ramdulari Devi was 23 years old and was carrying their third child at that time. She went to Ramnagar and settled down there.
Lal Bahadur Shastri began his education at age four, under the guidance of a Muslim cleric. Urdu/Persia was the language used for education since it was used in Government work for centuries before English replaced it. He entered Budhan Mian's East Central Railway inter-college, Mughal Sarai.
Bindeshwari Prasad, Ramdulari Devi's cousin, became the head of the family after the death of his maternal grandfather. He was a Mughal Sarai school teacher. Bindeshwari Prasad moved to Varanasi, and so did the entire Shastri family. He joined Harish Chandra School. At this point, he decided to give up his caste-derived surname Srivastava.
Higher Education and His Role in The Indian Freedom Movement
Lal Bahadur Shastri had a patriotic teacher named Nishkameshwar Prasad Mishra at Harish Chandra High School. Shastri received financial assistance from him by allowing him to tutor his children. Shastri became interested in the freedom struggle and began studying the history of Indian heritage. Notable personalities who interested him include Swami Vivekananda and Gandhi Ji. He attended a Benares public meeting hosted by Gandhi Ji when he was in 10th Standard.
Shastriji was inspired by Gandhiji's call for boycotting the government school and joining the Non-Cooperation movement. He resigned from Harish Chandra that day and joined the local branch Congress party as a volunteer. Then he began taking part in anti-government demonstrations. J.B. Kriplani was Shastri's immediate supervisor. He was a former lecturer at Banaras Hindu University who went on to become one of the most prominent leaders during the Indian Freedom Struggle. He was Gandhiji's close follower, more like a friend.
In 1925, Shastri was completed his degree in ethics and philosophy with first division in from the National Institution of Higher Education, also known as Kashi Vidyapith. It was established by J. B. Kripalani & VN Sharma with the help of a wealthy donor and an ardent Congress Nationalist, Shiv Prasad Gupta. The year 1928 was the time that Shastri joined his party, the Indian National Congress. He was detained for two and a half years, and then, in 1937, he became secretary to the committee on parliamentary affairs of the U.P. Later on, he was sentenced to one year in jail for providing his personal satyagraha support to the freedom movement of India.
Political Career of Lal Bahadur Shastri
Following the declaration of independence in India, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for his home state Uttar Pradesh. Later on, he became the Minister for Police and transport under the chief minister Govind Ballabh Pant.
Lal Bahadur Shastri made the very first appointments for the post of bus conductor, being the minister of transport for the state. In his time as the police chief, he had succeeded in putting an end to communal riots. He was also among the first officials to instruct the Police to employ the waterjets for dispersing crowds rather than using the Lathi charge. In 1951, he was appointed as the general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, with Jawaharlal Nehru as the prime minister. His job was to select candidates and guide them in electoral activities and public relations. His cabinet was made up of the most prestigious business leaders from India.
Lal Bahadur Shastri played an important role in the massive victory for the Congress party in the Indian General Election in 1952 and 1957, as well as 1962. He was able to successfully contest UP Vidhansabha from Saron in 1962 and won by 69% votes. Shastri was named the first Railway Minister on May 13, 1952. He also served as the Minister for Commerce & Industry and laid the foundation stone for Mangalore Port.
Lal Bahadur Shastri as Prime Minister of India
Following the death of Jawaharlal Nehru on May 27, 1964, Shastri became the Prime Minister of India. Congress President K. Kamaraj helped in making Shastriji the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
His tenure was marked by anti-Hindu protests in Madras in 1965. The agitation took place when the Indian government tried to establish Hindi as the only official language in India. There was opposition from states that were not Hindi-speaking. To ease the tension, he assured English would continue to be used as an official language. The riots and agitation diminished following the announcement.
Personal Life & Family
Lal Bahadur Shastri was married to Lalita Devi on May 16, 1928. He had two daughters and four sons. During his whole life, he adhered to the ideals of Gandhi.
New Political Revolution by Shastri
Shastri discontinued Nehru's socialist economic policies. Lal Bahadur Shastri helped to initiate "the White Revolution," which was a movement to boost the supply and production of milk. He was a strong supporter of cooperatives and created the National Dairy Development Board. Shastri visited Anand on October 31, 1964, to inaugurate the factory for cattle feed of Amul in Kanjari.
Lal Bahadur Shastri stayed there, engaged with the farmers, and ate dinner with them. In the wake of the interaction, he founded the National Dairy Development Board headed by Mr. Verghese Kurien. He used to be the Director General of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producer Union Ltd (Amul) then.
Due to the shortage of food across the nation, Shastri urged people to give up a meal per day so that the food that was saved could be distributed to the population affected. People responded with overwhelming enthusiasm to his appeal, and even eateries and restaurants willingly remained shut for a few days. Various parts of the world were observing the day as Shastri Vrat.
Lal Bahadur Shastri during Indo-Pak War
1965 Indo-Pak War was one of the major event during his tenure. He led the Indian army, which after crossing the Line of control, threatened Pakistan close to Lahore and that's when war broke out on a large scale. Huge Tank battles were fought between the two nations.
A tough Pakistani force gained ground in the northern regions, and Indian forces took over strategic positions in Haji Pir in Kashmir and Lahore, the city of Pakistan was under artillery and mortar fire from Indian forces. The war came to an end on September 23, 1965, in accordance with the ceasefire mandated by the United Nations.
Shastri died on January 11 in the year 1966, at Tashkent, following the signing of a peace agreement to stop the Indo-Pak War. According to reports, he suffered a cardiac arrest. However, his family members declined to accept the reason for his death and alleged the involvement of foul actions. The Indian government did not divulge any information, and the media also remained silent. Numerous conspiracy theories remain active in connection with his death.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was a great human, freedom fighter, and prime minister. He was known for his simplistic nature and honesty. Throughout his life, he followed the footsteps of Gandhi Ji. He believed that self-sustenance and self-reliance are very important in building a strong nation. His name will always remain prodigious in the Golden History of India!