Essay on Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of independent India. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, He was unanimously elected as the Prime Minister of India. He came to be known as a man of great integrity and competence who always think about the wellbeing of nations and its citizens. He was the prime minster for people who understand the language and pain of common man. Lal Bahadur was, a man of small build but he was unusually strong in his decisions.
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1901 at Mughalsarai, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He studied in the small school of his village though his schooling was not remarkable but he had a happy enough childhood despite the poverty that dogged him. He was sent to his uncle house in Varanasi to go to high school. He was called by the name of ‘Nanhe’ at home. He walked many miles to reach his school without shoes, even when the streets burned in the summer’s heat.
As he grew up, Lal Bahadur Shastri became more and more interested in the country’s freedom struggle. When he was sixteen Gandhiji called upon his countrymen to join the Non-Cooperation Movement. He decided at once to give up his studies and join the movement. Lal Bahadur Shastri joined the Kashi Vidya Peeth in Varanasi. There, he came under the influence of the greatest intellectuals, and nationalists of the country. Vidya Peeth awarded him ‘Shastri’ the bachelor’s degree which remains with his name forever.
In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi marched to the sea beach at Dandi and broke the imperial salt law. Lal Bahadur Shastri threw himself into the struggle for freedom with great energy. He led many such freedom movements and spent a total of seven years in British jails. When the Congress came to power after Independence, Lal Bahadur Shastri had already been recognised by the leader of the national struggle. In 1946 under Congress Government, Shastri ji was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in his home State of Uttar Pradesh and soon rose to the position of Home Minister. His capacity for hard work and his efficiency became a byword in Uttar Pradesh. He moved to New Delhi in 1951 and held several portfolios in the Union Cabinet. He was growing in stature constantly. He resigned his post as Minister for Railways because he felt responsible for a railway accident in which many lives were lost. In between his Ministerial assignments, he continued to lavish his organising abilities on the affairs of the Congress Party. In 1964 after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, He was elected as the Prime Minister of India.
As a Prime minister he worked hard to resolve the social as well as well as political issues prevailing in India at that time. He promoted the green revolution with great warmth and encourages the nation on the track of self-sustenance in food. His display of military expertise was evident in his dealing of the surprise attack of Pakistan on Kashmir that gave India a proper military framework and established India’s military intelligence in action. One of his famous slogans “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” ((“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) was greatly helpful in unifying the nation behind the true saviours of the nation, the farmers and the soldiers. He helped to solve the language crisis in southern states by making sure the government continues to use English as a language and not imposing Hindi on them.
His biggest critique till date is the Tashkent Declaration, a peace agreement between India and Pakistan signed on 10 January 1966 that resolved the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. This Tashkent summit was criticized in India because it did not contain a no-war pact or any renunciation of guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. After signing the agreement, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died mysteriously in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on January 11, 1966. Historians claimed that Tashkent Declaration was a diplomatic victory that portrays India’s military escapade in Pakistan only as a defensive measure. Lal Bahadur Shastri has contributed to the nation immensely in his short tenure and because of his unmatched contribution and efforts he will remain in our hearts forever.