Biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri- Indian Politician- Former Prime Minister of India


Lal Bahadur belongs to the’ Kayastha Caste’ with a surname ‘Srivastava’,  indicating his caste.

Being a true follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he was against the  caste system, Lal Bahadur  had  dropped his family surname-Srivatsava from his name

Known as:

Lal Bahadur Shastri – Shastri meaning scholar,  was the title given by the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Vidhyapeeth’,  on his graduation and ‘Shastri’ became part of his name.

Date of Birth: 2nd October 1904

Father: Sharada Srivastava Prasad (A  School  Teacher)

Mother:  Ramdulari Devi

Date of Death: 11th January 1966 (At the age of 61 years died at Tashkent in Soviet Union)

Studied at:
East Central Railway Inter college in Mughalsarai and Varanasi  and Graduated from Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth

Awards: Bharat Ratna – The Highest Civilian Award-Awarded Posthumously in 1966

Political and Administrative Career of Lal Bahadur Shastry:

Lal Bahadur Shastri, a noted Indian Freedom Fighter and the Second Prime Minister of the India is a very rare Indian Politician and Leader, who made no money  from politics.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was an active member of the  Indian National Congress from the year 1920 and he was a true follower of Mahatma  Gandhi and Jawaharla Nehru.

During the Indian Freedom Struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi Shastri was in jail for a total period of 9 years on various occasions.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cabinet as Union Railways Minister, Union External Affairs Minister and Union Home Minister.

Lal Bahadur Shastri tendered his resignation from the post of Union Railways Minister, after a Train Accident at Mahabubnage in September 1956 in which 112 people died, accepting moral and constitutional responsibility. However, Jawaharlal Nehru declined his resignation.

Again in December 1956, after another Train accident at Ariyalur in Tamilnadu in which 144 people died,Shastri tendered his resignation from the post of Union Railways Minister. And  Jawaharlal Nehru  accepted Shastri’s resignation as it would set an example on constitutional propriety and not because Shastri was in any way responsible for the Train Accidents.

Lal Bahadur Shastri  became the Second Prime Minister  of India on  9th June 1964,after Jawaharlal Nehru’s death. Also he became the leader of the Indian National Congress.

When Shastri was the Prime Minister of India in 1965, the “Anti-Hindi” agitation of the people of Tamilnadu/Madras State against the Indian Government’s steps to make Hindi as the sole national/official language of India was intensified.

As advised by Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri assured to the people of Tamilnadu/Madras State that English would continue to be used as the official language as long as the non Hindi-speaking states wanted.

In the year 1965 India won in the war against Pakistan and his slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan”-  (“ Hail the Soldier and Hail the Farmer”) had become  popular.

Lal Bahadur Shastri had been to Tashkent in the Soviet Union/USSR  to sign an agreement with Pakistan to end the war between the two countries and maintain peace between the two countries.

On 10th Januar1966 Lal Bahadur Shastri signed the Taskent Agreement with Pakistan in the presence of USSR.

Unfortunately, on the next day- 11th January 1966,  Lal Bahadur Shastri  died suddenly at  Tashkent.

Though the Indian and USSR officials declared that Lal Bahadur Shastri died due to heart attack, his wife Mrs. Lalita Devi Shastri had doubts on her husband’s sudden death after signing the Taskkent Agreement.

Quotation By Lal Bahadur Shastri:

“We believe in peace and peaceful development, not only for ourselves but for people all over the world. 

Our main preoccupation is with economic and social development at home and peace and friendship abroad”.

 -Lal Bahadur Shastri

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