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Once a boy was born to a poor family in a village of Uttar Pradesh on 2nd October 1965. That boy was Lal Bahadur Shastri. His father was a schoolteacher and mother was a homemaker. When Shastriji was one and half year his father got demised due to which his mother took him to his uncle’s house and settled there.
After finishing his school and college education he started his university education studying Philosophy. On 1926 he obtained a degree of Philosophy.
As he grew up he started working with Gandhiji in a freedom struggle for India’s independence. In the year 1930 he was elected to the Allahabad Municipal Board.
Members of Congress party recognized Shastriji’s dedication and hard work due to which they appointed him as the General Secretary first of the District Congress Committee and then of the Uttar Pradesh, Provincial Congress Committee. Shastriji prepared a report on land reforms in the UP and was elected to the UP Legislative Assembly in 1937. On the eve of independence he was serving as Parliamentary Secretary to then UP Chief Minister Shri Govind Ballabh Pant.
Shastri was made General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee and Minister of Railways and Transport in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cabinet in 1951. He served in the latter position to 1956, when he set a rare example of ministerial integrity by acknowledging constitutional responsibility for a serious railway accident and resigning from Nehru’s Cabinet. One year later he was reappointed as Minister of Transport and subsequently held the portfolio of Commerce and Industry and then Home Affairs.
Shastriji also played an important role in ensuring fair and peaceful elections in 1962 and during various changes in the higher ranks of Congress and the Cabinet made in Nehru’s last years under the Kamraj plan.
After the death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s death in 1964, Shastriji was chosen by his Congress Party colleagues to lead the country at a time of acute economic, diplomatic and political difficulty. He surprised many by the quiet strength he demonstrated through his prime ministership. He and his family lived simply, depended on vegetarian food and remained devout but unostentatious Hindus. For many observers, they symbolized the poor of India and also the new opportunities available in democratic in India. Shastriji’s policies expressed his own clear ideas on the need to ameliorate India’s chronic poverty, unemployment and social inequality. His emphasis was on improving agriculture and distribution of food, toward which end he engaged in detailed negotiations with United Stated of America; the institutional foundations of India’s Green Revolution were laid in the mid of 1960s.
Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was forced to deal with two separate attacks on Indian territory by Pakistan forces in the summer of 1965, openly in Rann of Kutch and covertly in Kashmir. In the first instance he agreed to arbitration over an uncertain borderland, partly because of financial pressures at home and heavy pressure at home and heavy pressure from the Western powers. In the second instance he stood unexpectedly firm and ordered retaliation; the Indian Armed Forces acquitted themselves well in the ensuring India-Pakistan war of September 1965. Afterwards, Shastrji agreed to a ceasefire ordered by the United Nation Security Council and then to a meeting with the then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. The two reached agreement at Tashkent to restore the status quo and work toward improved relations on the subcontinent and issued a declaration to that effect on January 10 1966. Before he could return to his residence, Shastrji caused a sudden death due to cardiac arrest in Tashkent.
His famous speech, “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” was the glorious speech he has ever given during the 1965 war with Pakistan.