Bishwanath Singh :Lal Bahadur was born on the 2nd of October 1904 in Mughalsarai, United Provinces, British India to Sharada Shrivastava Prasad, a poor school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad and Shrimati Ramdulari Devi. When he was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherde...r's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The dogherder, 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 parentsHis father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother 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. He studied upto class IV in Railway School Mughalsarai. 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 as a young boy/ Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak's verses. He revered Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a speech of Mahatma Gandhi at Varanasi in 1915, he dedicated his life to the service of the country.He also dropped his surname Shrivastav, as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system. During the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, he joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was a minor.He then enrolled at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. During his four years there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy & bcame close friend of Tribhuan Narain Singh.. Upon completion of his course at Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926, he was given the title Shastri ("Scholar"). The title was a bachelor's degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth, but it stuck as part of his name..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[.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 expiration 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 prisonLater, 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 support to the freedom movement.On 8 August 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 hometown, 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. Following India's independence, Shastri was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in his home state, Uttar Pradesh. He became the Minister of Police and Transport under Govind Ballabh Pant's Chief Ministership. As the Transport Minister, he was the first to appoint women conductors. As the minister in charge of the Police Department, he ordered that Police use jets of water instead of lathis to disperse unruly crowdsIn 1951, he was made the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister. He was directly responsible for the selection of candidates and the direction of publicity and electioneering activities. He played an important role in the landslide successes of the Congress Party in the Indian General Elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.In 1951, Nehru nominated him to the Rajya Sabha. He served as the Minister of Railways and Transport in the Central Cabinet from 1951 to 1956. In 1956, he offered his resignation after a railway accident at Mahbubnagar that led to 112 deaths. However, Nehru did not accept his resignationThree months later, he resigned accepting moral and constitutional responsibility for a railway accident at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu that resulted in one hundred forty four deaths. While speaking in the Parliament on the incident, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru had stated that he was accepting the resignation because it would set an example in constitutional propriety and not because Shastri was in any way responsible for the accident .Shastri's unprecedented gesture was greatly appreciated by the citizens.In 1957, Shastri returned to the Cabinet following the General Elections, first as the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then as the Minister of Commerce and Industry[. In 1961, he became Minister for HomeAs Union Home Minister he was instrumental in appointing the Committee on Prevention of Corruption under the Chairmanship of K. SanthanamJawaharlal Nehru died in office on 27 May 1964 and left a void. The then Congress Party President K. Kamaraj was instrumental in making and installing Shastri as Prime Minister on the 9th Jun 1964. Shastri, though mild-mannered and soft-spoken, was a Nehruvian socialist and thus held appeal to those wishing to prevent the ascent of conservative right-winger Morarji Desai. Shastri worked by his natural characteristics to obtain compromises between opposing viewpoints, but in his short tenure he was ineffectual in dealing with the economic crisis and food shortage in the nation. However, he commanded a great deal of respect in the Indian populace, and he used it to gain advantage in pushing the Green Revolution in India; which directly led to India becoming a food-surplus nation, although he did not live to see it. During the 22-day war with Pakistan, Lal Bahadur Shastri created the slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer"), underlining the need to boost India's food production. Apart from emphasizing the Green Revolution, he was instrumental in promoting the White Revolution. Highly impressed by a visit to the Kaira district in October 1964, he urged the rest of the country to learn from the successful experiment at Anand. The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during his tenure as Prime Minister. Though he was Socialist, Shastri stated that India cannot have a regimented type of economy. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he visited Russia, Yugoslavia, England, Canada and Burma in 1965. After the declaration of ceasefire with tetwenty one day war with Pak., Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan), organized by Kosygin. on the 11th of January 1966 where he had died soon after signing the Tashkent declaration after suffering severe heart attack.Such person is rarely born on this worldly earth. He had lived & died for welfare of his motherland in great service to Her. Let us commemorate his memories and pay our respectful homage to him on his Birth day! What’s a nice coincidence! Mahatma Gandhi was also born on the 2nd of October only with a difference that Shastri Ji was born in 1904 whereas Mahatma Gandhi in 1869!Both of them were precious jewels of our holy motherland. Let us pay our humble obeisance’s to their lotus feet!
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Bishwanath Singh :Our humble obeisance's to the lotus feet of this great man Lal Bahadur Shastri who earned his name & fame as the Prime Minister of India after the death of Pandit Nehru whose Birth Anniversary is celebrated on the 2nd of October with gaiety!