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Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on 2 October 1904 in Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was the second Prime Minister of India and also a leader of the Indian National Congress. He was the only prime minister of India who focused his attention on the idea of unity in the country.
Lal Bahadur Shastri came up with the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' which means 'Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer'. He also played a very important role in shaping India's future in external affairs. He was one of the most stellar leaders who had exceptional will power. He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi, who has also contributed immensely to the nation.
On his birth anniversary, we share some facts about him and his powerful quotes.
Facts About Lal Bahadur Shastri
- Lal Bahadur Shastri was born as Lal Bahadur Verma, but after graduating with a first-class degree from Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi he was given the title 'Shastri' (scholar) in 1925.
- He was against the prevailing caste system and therefore, decided to drop his surname.
- He would swim the Ganges twice a day to go to school with his books tied on the top of his head because he didn't have enough money to take the boat.
- During the pre-independence period, he spent time reading the books of Marx, Russell and Lenin.
- In 1915, a speech of Mahatma Gandhi changed Lal Bahadur Shastri's life which made him participate in India's freedom struggle.
- In 1921, he was jailed for taking part in Gandhi's non-cooperation movement but was let off because he was a minor.
- He married Lalita Devi in 1928 and refused to accept dowry. However, on repeated requests of his father-in-law, he accepted five yards of khadi cloth and spinning wheel as dowry.
- In 1930, he became the Secretary of the Congress party and later the President of the Allahabad Congress Committee.
- He took part in the Salt March in the same year, for which he was jailed for two years.
- Post-independence Shastriji was the Parliamentary Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, he introduced the rule of spraying jet water to disperse the crowd instead of lathi charge.
- On 15 August 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Minister of Police and Transport.
- In 1957, he became the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then, the Minister of Commerce and Industry.
- In 1961, he became the Home Minister and introduced the first committee on Prevention of Corruption.
- He supported the promotion of White Revolution, a nationwide campaign for increasing the production of milk in India.
- He formed the National Dairy Development Board and supported the Amul milk cooperative based at Anand, Gujarat.
- He also started the idea of the Green Revolution to boost and grow India's food production.
- On 10 January 1966, Shastri signed the Tashkent Declaration with the Pakistani President, Muhammad Ayub Khan to end the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.
- He died the following day, 11 January 1966, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan due to cardiac arrest.
Quotes Of Lal Bahadur Shastri
"Discipline and united action are the real source of strength for the nation".
"We would consider it our moral duty to lend all support to the ending of colonialism and imperialism so that people everywhere are free to mould their own destiny".
"We believe in the dignity of man as an individual, whatever his race, colour or creed, and his right to better, fuller, and richer life".
"Our way is straight and clear - the building up of a socialist democracy at home, with freedom and prosperity for all, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations abroad".
"We believe in freedom, freedom for the people of each country to follow their destiny without external interference".
"India will have to hang down her head in shame if even one person is left who is said in any way to be untouchable".
"We must fight for peace bravely as we fought in war".
"Our country has often stood like a solid rock in the face of common danger, and there is a deep underlying unity which runs like a golden thread through all our seeming diversity".
"There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go".
"The preservation of freedom, is not the task of soldiers alone. The whole nation has to be strong".