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Lal Bahadur Shastri : unforgettable leader of Independent India

Lal Bahadur Shastri : unforgettable leader of Independent India:

Lal Bahadur Shastri ji

Lal Bahadur Shastri (Born: October 2, 1904) was the third Prime Minister of independent India noted for his high vision towards the development of the newly independent nation. He was the significant figure in Indian Independance Movement.

Brief History:

Lal Bahadur was born 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. 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.

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. 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.

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[9]. 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. 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. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha to support the freedom movement. On August 8, 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. 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.

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  1. Bandady
    October 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    He was ‘murdered’ in USSR. He was given poisonous food. Unfortunately our ‘government’ did not come to know it although his dead body was turned to blue. And one more interesting point I came to know is that there were only 300rs in his bank account! Remember, he was our ‘prime minister’. Today’s so called political leaders should learn from such people. But anyways we are lazy to learn, ready to teach.

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