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Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri

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Lal Bahadur Shastri
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation,search 
 
Lal Bahadur "Shastri" Shrivastav
3
rd
 Prime Minister of India 
In office
 9 June 1964 ± 11 January 1966
President
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
 
Preceded by
Gulzarilal Nanda
 
Succeeded by
Gulzarilal Nanda
 
Born
2 October 1904Mughalsarai,United Provinces,British
 
India 
Died
11 January 1966 (aged 61)Tashkent,Uzbek SSR  
Birth name
Lal Bahadur Srivastava
Political party
Indian National Congress
 
 
Spouse(s)
Lalita Devi
 
Occupation
Academic,Activist 
Religion
Hindu
 
Lal Bahadur "Shastri" Shrivastav
(Hindi:
 î÷îéô÷äú í 
 
 ñ÷ù 
, pronounced
[lal bhadr astri]
;
2 October 1904 - 11 January 1966) was the thirdPrime Minister of theRepublic of 
 
Indiaand a significant figure in theIndian independence movement.
 
C
ontents
[
hide]
y
 
1 Early life 
y
 
2 In government 
y
 
3
Prime minister  
o
 
3
.1 War with Pakistan 
o
 
3
.2 Death at Tashkent 
o
 
3
.
3
Mystery of Shastri's Death 
o
 
3
.4 Memorial 
y
 
4 Personal life 
y
 
5
Quotes 
y
 
6 References 
y
 
7
Further reading 
y
 
8
External links 
 
[
edit] Early life
Lal Bahadur was born on 2 October in the year 1904 in Ram Nagar,AhmedabadMughalsarai,
 
United Provinces,British Indiaas
Lal Bahadur Shrivastav
. His father Sharada ShrivastavPrasad was a poor school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office atAllahabad
[
1]
. When Lal Bahadur was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into acowherder's basket at the ghats of theGanges. 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
[
2]
.
 
Lal Bahadur's father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother Ramdulari Devitook him and his two sisters to her father's house and settled down there
[3
]
. Lal Bahadur stayed at
 
his grandfather Hazari Lal's house till he was ten. Since there was no high school in their town,he was sent toVaranasiwhere he stayed with his maternal uncle and joined the HarischandraHigh 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 fromhis friends, he jumped into the river and swam to the other bank 
[
4]
.
 
As a boy, Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak 's verses. He reveredBal Gangadhar Tilak , the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a
 
speech of Mahatma Gandhiat Varanasi in 191
5
, he dedicated his life to the service of thecountry
[5
]
. He also dropped his surname Shrivastav, as it indicated hiscasteand he was against
 
thecaste system
[
1]
. During thenon-cooperation movementof Mahatma Gandhiin 1921, he
 
 joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was aminor 
[
6]
. He then enrolled at the nationalistKashi VidyapeethinVaranasi. During his four years
 
there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy. Uponcompletion 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
[3
]
.
 
He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began towork for the upliftment of theHarijansatMuzaffarpur 
[7
]
. Later he became the President of the
 
Society
[8
]
.
 
In 192
7
, Shastri married Lalita Devi of Mirzapur . In spite of the prevailing heftydowrytradition,
 
Shastri accepted only a
c
harkha
and a few yards of 
khadi
as dowry. In 19
3
0, he threw himself into the freedom struggle duringMahatma Gandhi'sSalt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for two
 
and a half years
[
9]
. 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 thefuneralrites, hevoluntarily returned to prison, even before the expiration of the period
[
10]
. A year later, he asked
 
for permission to go home for a week, as his son had contractedinfluenza. The permission wasgiven, 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 prison
[
10]
.
 
Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P.in 19
37
[
11]
. In
 
1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individualSatyagrahasupport to the
 
freedom movement
[
12]
. On
8
August 1942,Mahatma Gandhiissued theQuit India speechat
 
Gowalia Tank inMumbai, demanding that the British leave India. Shastri, who had just then come out after a year in prison, traveled toAllahabad. For a week, he sent instructions to thefreedom fighters fromJawaharlal Nehru's hometown,Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946
[
12]
. Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total
[
1
3
]
. 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 oMarieCurieintoHindilanguage
[
9]
.
 
[
edit] In government
Following India's independence, Shastri was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in his homestate,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 womenconductors. As the minister in charge of the Police Department, he ordered that Police use jets of water instead of lathisto disperse unruly crowds
[
14]
.
 
In 19
5
1, he was made the General Secretary of theAll-India Congress Committee, with
 
Jawaharlal Nehruas the President. He was directly responsible for the selection of candidatesand the direction of publicity and electioneering activities. He played an important role in thelandslide successes of the Congress Party in the IndianGeneral Electionsof 19
5
2, 19
57
and1962.In 19
5
1, Nehru nominated him to theRajya Sabha. He served as the Minister of Railways and
 
Transport in the Central Cabinet from 19
5
1 to 19
5
6. In 19
5
6, he offered his resignation after arailway accident atMahbubnagar it led to 112 deaths. However, Nehru did not accept his
 
resignation
[
1
5
]
. Three months later, he resigned accepting moral and constitutional responsibility
 
for a railway accident atAriyalur inTamil Naduthat resulted in 144 deaths. While speaking in

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