Lal Bahadur Shastri
Infobox Prime Minister
name = Lal Bahadur Shastri
imagesize = 200px
birth_date = birth date|df=yes|1904|10|2
birth_place = Mughalsarai. United Provinces. British India
death_date = death date and age|df=yes|1966|01|11|1904|10|02
death_place = Tashkent. Uzbek SSR
office = 3 rd Prime Minister of India
term_start = 9 June 1964
term_end = 11 January 1966
president = Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
predecessor = Gulzarilal Nanda
successor = Gulzarilal Nanda
spouse = Lalita Devi
occupation = Academic. Activist
religion = Hindu
party = Indian National Congress
Lal Bahadur Shastri ( Hindi लालबहादुर शास्त्री) (2 October 1904 - 11 January 1966) was the third (second, and acting, being Gulzarilal Nanda) Prime Minister of independent India and a significant figure in the Indian independence movement .
Lal Bahadur was born in the year 1904 in Mughalsarai. United Provinces. British India as Lal Bahadur Srivastava. His father Sharada Prasad was a poor school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Fatherless Child
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. When Lal Bahadur was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherd's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The cowherd, who had no children, took the child as a gift from God and took him home. Lal Bahadur's parents lodged a complaint with the police, who traced the child, and returned him to his parents [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Loving Grandfather
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
Lal Bahadur's father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother Ramdulari Devi took him and his two sisters to her father's house and settled down there cite web
title=Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri - A Profile
publisher= Government Of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather Hazari Lal's house till he was ten. Since there was no high school in their town, he was sent to Varanasi where he stayed with his maternal uncle and joined the Harischandra High School. While in Varanasi, Shastri once went with his friends to see a fair on the other bank of the Ganges. On the way back he had no money for the boat fare. Instead of borrowing from his friends, he jumped into the river and swam to the other bank [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Strong and Self-respecting
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
As a boy, Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak 's verses. He revered Bal Gangadhar Tilak. the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a speech of Mahatma Gandhi at Varanasi in 1915, he dedicated his life to the service of the country [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Tilak and Gandhi
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. He also dropped his surname, as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system. During the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, he joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was a minor [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Young Satyagrahi
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. He then enrolled at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. During his four years there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy. Upon completion of his course at Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926, he was given the title "Shastri" ("Scholar"). The title was a bachelor's degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth, but it stuck as part of his name. He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijan s at Muzaffarpur cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966)
publisher=Research Reference and Training Division, Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting, Government Of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. Later he became the President of the Society [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Servants of the People Society
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
In 1927, Shastri married Lalita Devi of Mirzapur. In spite of the prevailing hefty dowry tradition, Shastri accepted only a "charkha " and a few yards of " khadi " as dowry. In 1930, he threw himself into the freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi 's Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for two and a half years cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Freedom's Soldier
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. Once, while he was in prison, one of his daughters fell seriously ill. He was released for fifteen days, on the condition that he not take part in the freedom movement. However, his daughter died before he reached home. After performing the funeral rites, he voluntarily returned to prison, even before the expiry of the period cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Sense of Honor
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. A year later, he asked for permission to go home for a week, as his son had contracted influenza. The permission was given, but his son's illness was not cured in a week. In spite of his family's pleadings, he kept his promise to the jail officers and returned to the prison .
Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937 [cite web
title=Prime Minister's address at the inauguration of centenary year celebrations of late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri
publisher=Prime Minister's Office, Government Of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha to support the freedom movement cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: In Prison Again
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech at Gowalia Tank in Mumbai. demanding that the British leave India. Shastri, who had just then come out after a year in prison, traveled to Allahabad. For a week, he sent instructions to the freedom fighters from Jawaharlal Nehru 's home, Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946. Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total [ [http://www.liveindia.com/freedomfighters/LalBahadurShastri.html LiveIndia.com − Lal Bahadur Shastri ] ]. During his stay in prison, he spent time reading books and became familiar with the works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers. He also translated the autobiography of Madam Curie into Hindi language .
Following India's independence, Shastri was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in his home state, Uttar Pradesh. He became the Minister of Police and Transport under Govind Ballabh Pant 's Chief Ministership. As the Transport Minister, he was the first to appoint women conductors. As the minister in charge of the Police Department, he ordered that Police use jets of water instead of lathi s to disperse unruly crowds [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Responsibility of Freedom
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
In 1951, he was made the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee. with Jawaharlal Nehru as the President. He was directly responsible for the selection of candidates and the direction of publicity and electioneering activities. He played an important role in the landslide successes of the Congress Party in the Indian General Elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.
In 1951, Nehru nominated him to the Rajya Sabha. He served as the Minister of Railways and Transport in the Central Cabinet from 1951 to 1956. In 1956, he offered his resignation after a railway accident at Mahbubnagar it led to 112 deaths. However, Nehru did not accept his resignation [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: I Am Responsible
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. Three months later, he resigned accepting moral and constitutional responsibility for a railway accident at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu that resulted in 144 deaths. While speaking in the Parliament on the incident, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, stated that he was accepting the resignation because it would set an example in constitutional propriety and not because Shastri was in any way responsible for the accident. Shastri's unprecedented gesture was greatly appreciated by the citizens.
In 1957, Shastri returned to the Cabinet following the General Elections, first as the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then as the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In 1961, he became Minister for Home. As Union Home Minister he was instrumental in appointing the Committee on Prevention of Corruption under the Chairmanship of K. Santhanam cite web
title=Prime Minister Inaugurates Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial: Text Of Dr Manmohan Singh's Speech
publisher=Press Information Bureau, Government Of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
Jawaharlal Nehru died in office on 27 May 1964 and left a void. The then Congress Party President K. Kamaraj was instrumental in making Shastri as Prime Minister on 9 June. Shastri, though mild-mannered and soft-spoken, was a Nehruvian socialist and thus held appeal to those wishing to prevent the ascent of conservative right-winger Morarji Desai .
In his first broadcast as Prime Minister, on 11 June 1964, Shastri stated cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Might of Peace
publisher=Press Information Bureau, Government Of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] :
Shastri worked by his natural characteristics to obtain compromises between opposing viewpoints, but in his short tenure was ineffectual in dealing with the economic crisis and food shortage in the nation. However, he commanded a great deal of respect in the Indian populace, and he used it to advantage in pushing the Green Revolution in India ; which directly led to India becoming a food-surplus nation, although he did not live to see it. During the 22-day war with Pakistan, Lal Bahadur Shastri created the slogan of " Jai Jawan Jai Kisan " ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer"), underlining the need to boost India's food production. Apart from emphasizing the Green Revolution. he was instrumental in promoting the White Revolution. Greatly impressed by a visit to the Kaira district in October 1964, he urged the rest of the country to learn from the successful experiment at Anand. The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during his tenure as Prime Minister.
Though he was Socialist, Shastri stated that India cannot have a regimented type of economy. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he visited Russia. Yugoslavia. England. Canada and Burma in 1965 .
"See Also": Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The chief problem for Shastri's administration was Pakistan. Laying claim to half of the Kutch peninsula. Pakistan sent incursion forces in August 1965, which skirmished with Indian tank divisions. In his report to the Lok Sabha on the confrontation in Kutch. Shastri stated :
Under a scheme proposed by the British PM, Pakistan obtained 10%, in place of their original claim of 50% of the territory. But Pakistan's aggressive intentions were also focused on Kashmir. When armed infiltrators from Pakistan began entering the State of Jammu and Kashmir, Shastri made it clear to Pakistan that force would be met with force [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Force will be met with force
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. Just in September 1965, major incursions of militants and Pakistani soldiers began, hoping not only to break-down the government but incite a sympathetic revolt. The revolt did not happen, and India sent its forces across the Ceasefire Line (now Line of Control ) and threatened Pakistan by crossing the International Border near Lahore as war broke out on a general scale. Massive tank battles occurred in the Punjab. and while Pakistani forces made some gains, Indian forces captured the key post at Haji Pir, in Kashmir, and brought the Pakistani city of Lahore under artillery and mortar fire.
On 17 September 1965, while the Indo-Pak war was on, India received a letter from China. In the letter, China alleged that the Indian army had set up army equipment in Chinese territory, and India would face China's wrath, unless the equipments are pulled down. In spite of the threat of aggression from China, Shastri declared "China's allegation is untrue. If China attacks India it is our firm resolve to fight for our freedom. The might of China will not deter us from defending our territorial integrity." [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: China Cannot Frighten Us
accessdate=2007-03-13 ]. The Chinese did not respond, but the Indo-Pak war resulted in great personnel and material casualties for both Pakistan and India.
The Indo-Pak war ended on 23 September 1965 with a United Nations -mandated ceasefire. In a broadcast to the nation on the day the of ceasefire, Shastri stated :
After the declaration of ceasefire, Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR. now in modern Uzbekistan ), organised by Kosygin. On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration .
The next day Shastri, who had suffered two heart attack s earlier, died of a heart attack at 1:32 AM. He is the only Indian Prime Minister, and indeed probably one of the few heads of government. to have died in office overseas. Some conspiracy theories allege his death to be of unnatural causes [cite web
title=Lal Bahadur Shastri: Shastriji is Immortal
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
All his lifetime, Shastri was known for honesty and humility. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna. and a memorial "Vijay Ghat " was built for him in Delhi. Several educational institutes, roads, public squares and monuments in India are named after him. The Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. also the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration (Mussorie) is after his name these were some examples.
In 2005, the Government of India opened the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial and set up a library in New Delhi. as part of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Centenary Celebrations. Doordarshan produced a docu-drama on his life, and a national award was instituted in his name. Also, a chair was created in his name in the field of democracy and governance in Delhi University [cite web
title= PM's speech at conclusion of Lal Bahadur Shastri Centenary Celebrations
publisher=Prime Minister's Office, Government of India
accessdate=2007-03-13 ] .
His sons Anil Shastri and Sunil Shastri are politicians. [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2004/10/02/stories/2004100200930300.htm The Shastri saga ] ]
lal bahaddur shastri dam built at alamatti in karnataka state.
* "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer")
* "If one person gives up one meal in a day, some other person gets his only meal of the day", spoken during the food crisis to encourage people to evenly distribute food.
* "Perhaps due to my being small in size and soft of tongue, people are apt to believe that I am not able to be very firm. Though not physically strong, I think I am internally not so weak."
* John Noyce. "Lal Bahadur Shastri: an English-language bibliography". Lulu.com, 2002.
* Lal Bahadur Shastri, 'Reflections on Indian politics', "Indian Journal of Political Science", vol.23, 1962, pp1-7
* L.P. Singh, "Portrait of Lal Bahadur Shastri" (Delhi: Ravi Dayal Publishers, 1996) ISBN 81-7530-006-X
* (Sir) C.P. Srivastava, "Lal Bahadur Shastri: a life of truth in politics" (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995) ISBN 0-19-563499-3
* (Sir) C.P. Srivastava, "Corruption: India's enemy within" (New Delhi: Macmillan India, 2001) chapter 3 ISBN 0-333-93531-4
* Rediff.com Special: [http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/oct/06spec1.htm Why has history forgotten this giant? ]. [http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/oct/07spec1.htm The politician who made no money ]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010 .
Second Prime Minister of India from 1964 to 1966 who was a loyal follower of Ghandi's teachings. His popularity stemmed from India's victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. BEFORE FAME He graduated with a degree from Kashi Vidyapeeth, where he as given the title of 'Shastri,' meaning 'scholar.' TRIVIA He was known for being a secularist who favored peaceful relations with Pakistan. FAMILY LIFE He had five children, all of whom ended up becoming politicians in Congress. ASSOCIATED WITH He was Prime Minister of India, like Atal Vajpayee was after him.Lal Bahadur Shastri Popularity Lal Bahadur Shastri Popularity # 24539
Most Popular Person# 16 # 9
Politician From India# 17 Lal Bahadur Shastri Fans Also Viewed Lal Bahadur Shastri Is A Member Of
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Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966)
Lal Bahadur Shastri became the second Prime Minister of India after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru on 27 May 1964. He served the nation as Prime Minister for 19 months and two days i.e. from 9 June 1964 to 11 January 1966, at a very crucial period of independent India.
Shastri was born on 2 October 1904 at Mughalsarai, a railway colony about seven miles from Varanasi. At the age of ten he came to Benares to stay with his maternal uncle and started his studies. In 1921, responding to Gandhijis call for non-cooperation he gave up his studies and joined the freedom struggle.
As a schoolboy, he had read the speeches of Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lajpat Rai and Gokhale. He enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur. In 1951 he was made the General Secretary of the A.I.C.C. with Jawaharlal Nehru as the President. From 1951 to 1956 he served as Minister of Railways and Transport in the Central Cabinet. He accepted moral and constitutional responsibility for the Aliyalur railway accident in 1956 and resigned. From 1957 to 1961 he was again in the Central Cabinet and held several portfolios successively as Minister of Transport and Communications, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister for Home.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was simple and unassuming in his behaviour, kind and gentle in his dealings and his ever-modest qualities endeared him to the masses of India. He was one of those few leaders, who, born in poverty, won recognition by their talent and sacrifice. Rising from the rank of an unknown worker, churning out cyclostyled copies of political leaflets at Anand Bhavan, to the position of highest authority as the Prime Minister of India.
Shastriji successfully led the nation during 22-day war with Pakistan in 1965. He gave the slogan of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan", which led to a rare display of unity in the country during Indo-Pak war. During 1965 he visited Russia, Yugoslavia, England, Canada and Burma. On January 10, 1966 he signed the historic Joint communiqu� with President Agha Khan of Pakistan at Tashkent. Within few hours of the signing of the Declaration, the Hero of Tashkent passed away at Tashkent. The end came in the early hours at 1.32 a.m. on 11.1.1966. The great little man of masses died at the height of his career.
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a leader of the Indian National Congress party. Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru. Following independence in 1947, he joined the latter's government and became one of Prime Minister Nehru's principal lieutenants, first as Railways Minister, and then in a variety of other functions, including Home Minister. Shastri was chosen as Nehru's successor owing to his adherence to Nehruvian socialism after Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi turned down Congress President K. Kamaraj's offer of premiership. Shastri as Prime Minister continued Nehru's policies of non-alignment and socialism. He became a national hero following the victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" became very popular during the war and is remembered even today. The war was formally ended in the Tashkent Agreement of 10 January 1966; he died the following day, still in Tashkent, of a heart attack.Numerology
The numerical value of lal bahadur shastri in Chaldean Numerology is: 2
The numerical value of lal bahadur shastri in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3Images & Illustrations of lal bahadur shastri Translation Find a translation for the lal bahadur shastri definition in other languages:
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Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of Independent India from 9th June, 1964 to 11th January, 1966.
The second Indo-Pakistan war took place during his tenure as Prime Minister. Shastriji is remembered for launching the inspirational campaign of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”, which became very popular throughout the country.
He was a freedom fighter and actively participated in the Indian Independence Movement against the British rule. He was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehruji.After Independence
He was a member of Indian National Congress and served the country under the leadership of Jawahar Lal Nehru. He hold several prestigious positions under Nehruji. After the death of Nehruji on 27th May, 1964, Shastriji was chosen by the party for the post of Prime Minister.Character
Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri was simple man who had been asked to assume the position of the Prime Minister. The problems he was expected to grapple with were enough to break the back of the most tenacious and determined man, but Mr. Shastri weathered the storm with his abundant rugged common sense and almost imperturbable calmness.Difficulties
When Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri assumed charge as the Prime Minister of India, he started with many initial disadvantages. The most obvious one was that he had stepped into the shoes of a colossus like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who, commanded the spontaneous affection of the masses of India and was also a front-ranking world statesman.
Even though Mr. Shastri had been active in the political life of his country for nearly four decades, he had never visited any foreign country and was, therefore, not a well-known figure in important world capitals.
In addition, there was the problem of rising prices and food-shortage in India.
India’s relations with its neighbors were not of the best. It appeared that the people’s faith in the country’s future had been badly shaken.Comparison with Nehru
It was but natural that people everywhere should mentally compare Mr. Shastri in his new role to the Pt. Nehru. Many people thought that he may at best be a competent stop-gap Prime Minister.
But Mr. Shastri suffered from no such inhibitions. He saw his duty clearly. While maintaining and strengthening he basic framework of national policy built by his illustrious predecessor, he had to chalk out his course of action by his own lights. He had enough strength as an individual to see the danger inherent in trying to be anyone but himself.
Mr. Shastri could not be another Nehru. He was a person in his own right and, called upon to lead the nation at a particularly difficult time in its history, he had to do his best. Therefore, he told the people, ‘Nobody can succeed Nehru; we can only try to carry on his work in a humble way’.Achievements
As Prime Minister of India, Mr. Shastri actually got into stride sometime in October, 1964 when he had sufficiently recovered from a heart-attack which had kept him largely inactive during the first four months of his stewardship.
The second Non-aligned Nations Summit conference in Cairo was the first important international meeting which he attended as India’s chosen leader. While in Cairo, he raised his voice in favor of peace. He had taken the first opportunity to show that under his leadership, India would continue to be a force on the side of peace in the world.
The talks with Ceylon’s Prime Minister, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike towards the end of October, 1964, resulted in an agreement that was hailed as a magnificent achievement of Mr. Shastri as it removed a persistent cause of unpleasantness between India and Ceylon.
China’s debut as a nuclear power was perhaps the most important development from India’s point of view. The first test of Nuclear weapon by China was done on 16th October, 1964. It gave rise to vociferous demands in India in favor of manufacturing an Indian atom bomb. The demand had considerable popular backing and India had the capacity to make the bomb. But, he insisted on using the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.War with Pakistan
The Indo-Pakistan war begun in April, 1965. The war continued till September, 1965.
When Pakistan launched the invasion of Kashmir, he hit back hard. His call galvanized the whole nation to rise as one man to meet the challenge. Thus this man of peace was forced to lead his people into a fierce conflict for preserving India’s honor and sovereignty.
Addressing the nation on 13 th August, 1965, he said, ‘When freedom is threatened and territorial integrity is endangered, there is only one duty – the duty to meet the challenge with all our might’.
His inspiring words infused new life into the people, and heartened India’s brave army. Against superior equipment and heavy odds, the Indian soldiers, airmen and sailors gave a glorious account of their courage and prowess. The countless deeds of unparalleled heroism performed by the jawans during the time of war were enough to make every Indian feel proud of belonging to this country. The nation gained a new confidence in itself. Even though the conflict lasted for a few weeks only, it served to show India how she stood vis-à-vis other nations.
Even though the Indian Army scored victories, but the destruction and bloodshed made his heart bleed, and in keeping with the honor of the motherland, he bent his energies towards bringing the conflict to a close. After cease-fire, while mentioning those who had lost their lives on the battle-field, he broke down. That was indicative of the anguish which he must have undergone while the conflict lasted. But in spite of it, he did not spare himself in his relentless quest for peace.Tashkent Declaration
After the India-Pakistan war of 1965, a peace agreement was signed at Tashkent, USSR, between India and Pakistan on 10th Jan, 1966. It was this untiring quest for peace which took him to Tashkent where he made sure that a beginning in the right direction was made.Death
However, he died after signing the Tashkent declaration. Though, it is reported that the cause of his death was heart-attack, some people believe that he was poisoned. His death is still a subject of mystery. He didn’t returned back to India from Tashkent.
Estimate: Mr. Shastri held charge of the country for a brief period of 18 months. Even during this period he made to the country’s heritage a contribution which can compare with the best in its richness and variety. He not only preserved but also strengthened the legacy of Gandhi and Nehru.
His composed calmness in the midst of turmoil and excitement, and his cool determination showed his countrymen where their strength lay. In fact, these were the qualities which enabled him to grapple with the multifarious problems which confronted the country at the time he was called upon to wear the mantle of the Late Pt. Nehru. The world has acknowledged that he wore it well.
Conclusion: It would be futile to speculate to what further heights Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri would have risen, had he been allowed some more time to serve the country. But none will easily forget that it was that simple, unassuming man who rehabilitated his countrymen’s belief in the destiny of India and restored the country’s image abroad when almost the whole world predicted for it nothing but confusion and chaos. He left India and the world much better than he found them, and although he shone on the Indian firmament for a brief period, he blazed a new trail for others to follow.Related posts:
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Lal Bahadur Shastri
Finally all the leaders came to the decision that Lal Bahadur Shastri was the only person to pilot the nation at such critical times.
A short man. A lean body. Eyes wide as the wheels of a cart. His clothes were simple, his voice soft and almost inaudible. But there was always a smile, which overarched his words. There was not the slightest sign of pride or authority in his bearing. Could he administer a nation of five hundred million people, doubted some.
Lal Bahadur never praised himself. On the contrary he used to say: "I am an ordinary man and not a very bright man." He never aspired to power. He never worked for it.
And yet power and authority came in search of him. Fame set a crown on his head. The short man grew into a colossus. He showed by his work that, though he was tender like a flower, he could be hard as diamond, too. He filled the Four Corners of the world with the fame of India. At a time when the world sang his praises as a hero, an incomparable patriot-hero and as the architect of peace, and just as he touched the peak of his life, Lal Bahadur passed away all too suddenly. He came to power unexpectedly, and he left the world equally suddenly.
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