How many of us remember 2nd october as the day of birthdays. Okie most of Indians celebrate the day,first, it being a National holiday; secondly It being the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Off course, it’s a day to celebrate for the Mahatma who led Indians out of the clutches of 200 years of british rule. But do you remember too, it as the day another freedom fighter was born. He who moulded India not only before freedom but even after India was free and at the time when India most importantly needed someone who can sail India safely from the prying eyes of our enemies. YES, It the birthday of our second Prime Minister of independent India Shri Lal bahadur Shastri.
The much celebrated PM of India was born in Mughal sarai (UP) and Joined Indian freedom struggle at an early age. He was jailed for participation in Non coöperation movement and later released, he being minor at that time. When Nehru died in 1964, the job of building India was thrust on the strong shoulders of Shri Shastri.
“There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the cross-roads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.”
He was instrumental in bringing Green Revolution in India. He understood that the India, being a primarily agri based economy, could not take a giant leap to be an industrial superpower. It’s had to be slow and steady and without ale support of millions of Agriculturist it was just impossible. It was during his tenure that Indo-pak war of 1965 took place. he was of the view that India pakistan must live in peace but when war was thrust on India by Pakistani counterpart, He was all into this and within 6 days of fighting the UN brokered ceasefire. You can well understand the mental faculty of the genius in his national broadcast on the day of ceasefire
“While the conflict between the armed forces of the two countries has come to an end, the more important thing for the United Nations and all those who stand for peace is to bring to an end the deeper conflict…. How can this be brought about? In our view, the only answer lies in peaceful coexistence. India has stood for the principle of coexistence and championed it all over the world. Peaceful coexistence is possible among nations no matter how deep the differences between them, how far apart they are in their political and economic systems, no matter how intense the issues that divide them.”
It was during this time he gave India it most important slogan “JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN“ . On this line, (it is believed that on LBS request) many films with nationalistic fervour were released , like Manoj Kumar’s Poorab aur Pachim etc. One particular song which I shall never miss – “Hai preet jahan ki reet…“
The final curtain fall on his life was not in India but in Tashkent, 1966. The night after signing Tashkent Declaration with Pakistani president Muhammad Ayub khan, he had a stroke and he died (as claimed). However there are several conspiracy theories on his death. July 16th 2012 edition of magazine Outlook has an article on mystery death of Second Prime Minister of India.
…….On his return to India, Nayar recalls, he was confronted by Shastri’s wife Lalitha who was troubled by the fact that the body was blue and inquired about “certain cuts” on his body. She also pointed out that no post-mortem had been done either in Russia or in India……
This brought an end to a great statesman , India will ever see.
One thing I would like to mention that Our present generation of administrators must learn. He belonged to poor family and rose to be prime minister of India. however when he dies he was still poor, with only one car which he has bought on installment, though he brought prosperity to millions of Indians, as against present times, when most of our leaders are neck-deep in corruption and busy filling their pockets instead of caring for billions of Indians.