While the nation celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it will be the 116th birth anniversary of another stalwart of freedom struggle who shares his birthday with the Mahatma. We are talking about Lal Bahadur Shastri who was the second person to hold the office of Prime Minister of India and the third Prime Minister. Humble, soft-spoken but resolute, Lal Bahadur Shastri was an important figure during the freedom struggle and rose to prominence after Independence. In the first cabinet led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he held portfolios such as Railway Ministry, Home Ministry etc. He became the third Prime Minister of India in June 1964 after Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru died in office in May 1964.
Here are 5 interesting facts about Lal Bahadur Shastri which are bound to inspire students.
1. Shastri is not his real surname. 'Shastri' was the Bachelor's degree awarded to him in Kashi Vidya Peeth in Varanasi. The epithet stuck in people's mind as part of his name.
2. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, the country faced scarcity of food. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the Prime Minister then, in personal capacity, stopped drawing his salary.
3. His integrity was to the fore when he resigned from his post as Minister for Railways because he felt responsible for a railway accident in which many lives were lost. The then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said accepting his resignation that it would set an example in constitutional propriety and not because Lal Bahadur Shastri was in any way responsible.
4. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' at the time of the Indo-China war in 1965 when the country was facing a scarcity of food grains to inspire confidence in soldiers, and to encourage farmers to increase production of food grains.
5. His tenure as the Prime Minister was only for nineteen months. He died in Tashkent on January 11, 1966.
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