Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us remember that great personality who had devoted his entire life for the pride and honor of the country and was highly regarded as man of principles! He had offered his resignation as Union Railway Minister; hours after he was made aware of a train accident that killed around one hundred fifty people in 1956 He was one that great leader who had laid the “ Jai Jawan and Jai Kisan”( Victory to Armed forces personnel and Victory to farmers)He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the highest civilian award of our Nation "Bharat Ratna" in 1966 and had died while in the office of his Prime Minister ship in abroad on January 11,1966.He was none else than Lal Bahadur Shastri.
(Photo of Lal Bahadur Shastri,the former Prime Minister of India).
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 at Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh State of India. His parents were Sharada Prasad and Ramdulari Devi. Lal Bahadur's surname was Srivastava but he dropped it as he did not want to indicate his ca...ste. Lal Bahadur's father was a school teacher and later on he became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad. Though Sharada Prasad was poor, he lived a life of honesty and integrity. Lal Bahadur lost his father when he was barely one and half yearsold. When he was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherder's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The cowherder, 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 Ramdulari Devi raised Lal Bahadur and her two daughters at her father's house. His mother Ramdulari Devi took him and his two sisters to their maternal grandfather Hazari Lal's house. Lal Bahadur acquired virtues like boldness, love of adventure, patience, self-control, courtesy, and selflessness in his childhood. After completing his primary education at Mirzapur, Lal Bahadur was sent to Varanasi, where he stayed with his maternal uncle..He had stayed at his grandfather's house till he was ten. By that time he had passed the sixth standard examination. He went to Varanasi for higher education.During his childhood, he 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 Srivastava 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. Bhagawan Das on philosophy. 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.T.N.Singh was his best friend. He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur.Later he became the President of the Society In 1921 when Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement against British Government, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was only seventeen years old. When Mahatma Gandhi gave a call to the youth to come out of Government schools and colleges, offices and courts and to sacrifice everything for the sake of freedom, Lal Bahadur came out of his school. Though his mother and relatives advised him not to do so, he was firm in his decision. Even though he was made to undergo tremendous hardships, he survived with the help of prayers and physical exercises. He spent this time reading different authors like Hegel, Kant, Marx, Russell and Lenin. He also did some translations and wrote about the Quit India Movement . In 1928, Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalita Devi, the youngest daughter of Ganesh Prasad. He was against the prevailing "dowry system" and so refused to accept dowry. However, on the repeated urging of his father-in-law, he agreed to accept only five yards of khadi (cotton, usually handspun) cloth In 1930, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the secretary of the Congress party and later the president of the Allahabad Congress Committee. He played a crucial role during the "Salt Movement". Lal Bahadur lead a door-to-door campaign, urging people not to pay land revenue and taxes to the British authority. The leader was also sent to jail for the campaign. During the long span of nine years he spent in jails, Lal Bahadur utilized the time in reading the social reformers and western philosophers. He was one of the leading and prominent faces that continued the Quit India movement, called by Mahatma Gandhi. He had 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 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 house,Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946. He had 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 Marie Curie into Hindi language Lal Bahadur, in 1937, was elected to the UP Legislative Assembly.. After Independence, he had became the Minister of police in the Ministry of Govind Vallabh Panth in Uttar Pradesh. His recommendations included the introduction of "water-jets" instead of sticks to disperse the unruly mob. Impressed with his efforts in reforming the state police department, Jawaharlal Nehru, invited Shastri to join the Union cabinet as a Minister for railways. He was a responsible man and known for his ethics and morality. In 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from his post, following a train accident that killed around 150 passengers near Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu. Nehru, had once said, that no one could wish for a better comrade than Lal Bahadur, a man of the highest integrity and devoted to ideas..He returned to the Cabinet in 1957, first as the Minister for Transport and Communications, and then as the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In 1961, he became Minister for Home and formed the "Committee on Prevention of Corruption" headed by of K. Santhanam. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru after his passing away was succeeded by a mild-mannered and soft-spoken Lal Bahadur Shastri on 9 June, 1964. He was a follower of Nehruvian socialism. Despite the strong influence and desire of becoming the Prime Minister, of some party stalwarts Shastri emerged as the consensus candidate.He had tackled many elementary problems like food shortage, unemployment and poverty. To overcome the acute food shortage,hehad asked the experts to devise a long-term strategy. This was the beginning of famous "Green Revolution". Apart from the Green Revolution, he was also instrumental in promoting the White Revolution. The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during his Prime Ministership.After the Chinese aggression, the major cross-border-problems Shastri faced was caused by Pakistan. It sent her forces across the eastern border into the Rann of Kuch in Gujarat. Shastri showing his mettle, made it very clear that India would not sit and watch. While granting liberty to the Security Forces to retaliate He said, "Force will be met with force". The Indo-Pak war ended on 23 September 1965 after the United Nations passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire. The Russian Prime Minister, Kosygin, offered to mediate and on 10 January 1966, Lal Bahadur Shastri and his Pakistan counterpart Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration. He who had earlier suffered two heart attacks, died of the third cardiac arrest on January 11,1966 at Taskent. He is the only Indian Prime Minister, to have died in office in abroad. was known for his honesty and humility throughout his life. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, in 1966 and a memorial "Vijay Ghat" was built for him in Delhi.
Bishwa Nath Singh :
Let us join to Pay our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of this great man and offer our respectful homage and floral tribute to him!Such person is rarely born on this earth.He will be remembered and adored for his simplicity,passion,wisdom and kindness.He was a great statesman and very successful second Prime Minister of Indiawhose memories will be cherished for over.