Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in Uttar Pradesh in the humblest of conditions in a
colonized the country and died as the Prime Minister of the country. Born to a school teacher, he became fatherless at an early age.
The tragedy forced him to grow up and the inspiring love of his mother made him independent and strong. His work ethic, commitment, and labor made him unrelenting in the pursuit of his goals. He married at an age of 24 to Lalita and had eight children.
He graduated from college in 1926. However, his heart used to always beat for the nation. Witnessing one of Gandhiji’s speeches at Banaras, he was called to the national struggle.
Interestingly, he shared his birthday with the great man (2nd October). He participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement as a school kid. Falling wholeheartedly behind the Mahatma, he leaped into prison on multiple occasions, voluntarily and defiantly.
After independence, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the first Transport and Police minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh. After the 1952 elections, he would become Railway minister.
However, it was in 1964 that he became the premier of the country as the second Prime Minister of India after the death of Jawaharlal Lal Nehru. During his tenure, which only lasted for one and a half years, he had to contest the second Indo-Pak War of 1965.
It was in this war that he gave a clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’. This brought the two most influential communities of the country together, the military warriors and the caregiving cultivators.
He would eventually sign the Tashkent Agreement between the two nations in Uzbekistan’s capital. However, he would die on his return journey. Eventually, he would be felicitated with the ‘Bharat Ratna’ award after his death.
Shastriji, as he is endearingly called, was a man of unimpeachable integrity and winning simplicity. His commitment to hard work and resolution made him a loved leader of the masses.
He was one of very few leaders who could walk with the leaders of the World and stay humble and talk with the penniless and stay honorable.
His ability to connect with the impoverished and vulnerable people of the country made him a man of the masses and a true champion of togetherness and benevolence.