On 2nd October, We generally celebrate Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti but Many people don’t know that today is birth anniversary of one of the great PM of India, Shri Lal bahadur Shastri. So we bring to you some interesting facts about him.
He was the man who looked simple, lived a humble life but his exemplary leadership pulled India through tough times like war and food shortage of 1965. He was the one of the Honest Prime ministers of India.
Here are the 20 things you should know about him
1. Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in Ramnagar in Varanasi in a Kayastha family, but as Shastriji didn’t believe in caste discrimination, he dropped his surname. Later, when he graduated at Kashi Vidyapeeth, he was given the title of Shastri (scholar).
2. weight of Lal Bahadur Shastri body was only 39 kg and his height was only 5 feet because of Disease.
3. Cost of Lal Bahadur Shastri property was only Rs. 6,411 including furniture, clothes etc.
4. He did not want to use the government car for his personal work so he bought a feat car in Rs.13,000. in which 6,000 was paid by Lal Bahadur Shastri and for rest Rs.7,000, Lal Bahadur Shastri took a loan from Punjab National Bank. He never misused of a government property for his personal work.
5. Lal Bahadur Shastri was influenced by Bal Gangadhar (Lokmanya) Tilak in his early days.
6. Lal Bahadur Shastri spent almost nine years in jail during India’s Independence activism.
7. Not many know that the credit of appointing women conductors in transportation facilities goes to Lal Bahadur Shastri. As a transport minister post-independence, Shastri made the rule for women conductors.
8. Another little known fact about Lal Bahadur Shastri is that it was him who ordered using jets of water instead of lathis to disperse the crowd during his charge as a minister of Police Department.
9. Owing moral responsibility to a railway accident in Mahbubnagar in 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned as the Railway Minister and set a new standards of morality in public life.
10. The credit of first appointing of committee on Prevention of Corruption also goes to Lal Bahadur Shastri during his tenure as Union Home Minister.
11. It is a little known fact that after Nehru death, Indira Gandhi was first offered the post of Prime Minister. Only after she declined, Lal Bahadur Shastri was made the PM of India.
12. In 1965, The three military chiefs visited him to inform that the Pakistan army had crossed the international border with 100 battle tanks in the Chamb sector of Jammu. Without losing time, he asked for the opening of a new front including Lahore & Retaliation with full force. The historic meeting lasted less than five minutes.
13. During 1965 Indo-Pak war, India was facing food grains shortage, so we had to look towards USA for grains import. To overcome the problem and to boost the morale of soldiers & rest of the nation, he coined the slogan- Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan. He appointed a team led by scientists to solve agriculture related issues. This triggered the Green Revolution which made India self sufficient in grains within a decade.
14. As a school boy, Lal Bahadur Shastri always did swimming across the Ganga twice a day with his books tied on top of his head. He did not have enough money to take a ferry to school.
15. When Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son was given an undue promotion at a department, Shastriji reversed it immediately. Not only this When Shastri ji came to know that his sons used official car then He asked driver to note the distance of car & He paid for it.
16. Like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Shastri ji’s death is also a mystery. He died in Tashkent, Uzbekistan due to heart attack, on same day after Tashkent Declaration was signed between India & Pakistan. But many believed that he was poisoned.
17. When body of Lal Bahadur Shastri reached Delhi in 1966, there was an attempt to prevent his family from taking a look at it? Here’s why: it had bloated, turned dark, bore strange cut marks. Demand for post mortem was declined.
18. According to Kuldip Nayar who was Lal Bahadur Shastri’s press advisor from 1960 to 1964, Congress protested against inscribing the slogan — Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan on his samadhi. But when Lal Bahadur Shastri’s wife, Mrs Shastri threatened to go on a hunger strike then it was allowed to crave on his Samadhi.
19. According to Kuldip Nayar, When Lal Bahadur Shastri died then there was a strong protest against his cremation because congress did not want his cremation in the area where Gandhi and Nehru had been laid to rest. Congress wanted his cremation in Allahabad. When Mrs Lalita Shastri (Wife of Lal bahadur Shastri) said she would go public only then Congressman allowed his cremation in Delhi.
20. Because of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Green Revolution came in India. He died on 11th January, 1966.
Indian government has always refused to declassify report on his death claiming that this could lead to harming of foreign relations. Today, we request govt to declassify those files so that we can more about this great leader.