Lal Bahadur Shastri was an Indian politician, cabinet minister, and diplomat. He was the second Prime Minister of independent India, serving from 15 August 1950 until he died in 1964. The person who brought him into politics was Mahatma Gandhi, with whom he had differences on the eradication of poverty and land reforms. With his ideals for a new India, Shastri helped to ensure India’s leading role among the newly independent nations of Asia as a founding member of Afro-Asian Solidarity (AAS) in 1955 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1961.
About Lal Bahadur Shastri
Shastri Ji was an Indian politician and statesman who served as the first Industry Minister of India and the second Prime Minister of independent India. He also briefly served as Minister of Home Affairs. He is best known for his declaration of self-rule in Jammu and Kashmir after the Indian military conquered all remaining territories of the state, pending a referendum to decide its future. His slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) became very popular during India’s victory in the 1965 war against Pakistan and later during Indira Gandhi’s 1966 election campaign for that year’s General Election.
Life Of Shastri Ji
Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji was born on 2 October 1902 in Varanasi. His father, Raghupati Sinh, belonged to a family of scholars and teachers who settled in Nagaur in the 11th century. His mother, Ratan Devi, was a teacher.
Education of Bahadur Shastri
lal bahdur shastri ji had his early education at Bikaner and Ajmer and later at Almora. He did his schooling at St Joseph’s High School, Almora, where he finished class five with distinction and a gold medal for excellence in English on the board exam in 1928. shastri ji completed his Matriculation in the first division in 1928, standing second in the province of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. He joined a college to study Intermediate but left it after one year.
Personal Life of Bahadur Shastri
He married his first wife, Pushpa, in 1929. They had two children. His first daughter, Jayanthi (born in 1933), committed suicide with her lover and left a note asking: “Let my death be the beginning of change.”
A committed Gandhian, he left his home in 1935 to participate in the Indian independence movement and was imprisoned at 16. Shastri Ji took part in the Quit India Movement and was imprisoned nine times in his life. He went to jail when he was 21 years old. He was very close to Gandhi right from his teenage years. However, they differed on specific issues of political ideology and had also been jailed together during British rule in India.
First time arrest of Lal Bahadur Shastri
On 10 February 1930, Shastri went to Bhatta Parsaul village along with workers and farmers to protest against the oppression of landlords and collect forced donations for funding for victims of the earthquake (1930).
Independence Activism of Shastri Ji
lal bahadur shastri ji worked with Gandhi ji till independence. He led a group of village volunteers to build up the Satyagraha movement against British rule. He was imprisoned at Sabarmati Jail, where he wrote his first letter to Gandhiji on 12 August 1942.
Jail period of Bahadur Shastri
He was among many imprisoned during The Quit India Movement in 1942. He was also jailed for six months on three separate occasions during 1942. lal bahadur shastri was jailed for 18 months on 21 August 1942 and then again in 1944 when he was convicted along with Subhadra Joshi in a conspiracy case, and his sentence was extended to five years by the Court of appeal, where he served a total of 11 years of jail term.
Political Career of Shastri Ji
He became a trade union leader. Shastri ji was elected as president of Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) in 1936. Following which he was jailed by the British rulers for organizing workers’ strikes. He served as the national president of BMS from 1945 to 1952. In 1956 he again served as national president and remained so until 1960, when he stood down due to ill health.
He was elected to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly representing the Deoband constituency as a Congress candidate in 1957. He served as Minister of Transport and later Minister of Revenue, Agriculture, and Forest in the assembly. In 1959 he was elected to Rajya Sabha (Upper House) from Uttar Pradesh and remained there till 1962.
In 1962 he was appointed as Minister of Industries and Supplies in Uttar Pradesh. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the New Delhi constituency and subsequently sworn in as Union Minister of Commerce and Industry. A post he held until 28 January 1964, when he became Union Home Minister.