As nation marks the 113th birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a leader of the Indian National Congress party, let us have a look at his journey and powerful speeches given by the leader.

Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi (with whom he shared his birthday), he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru. Following independence in 1947, he joined the latter’s government and became one of Prime Minister Nehru’s principal, first as Railways Minister (1951–56), and then in a variety of other functions, including Home Minister.

He led the country during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) became very popular during the war and is remembered even today. The war formally ended with the Tashkent Agreement of 10 January 1966; he died the following day, still in Tashkent, the cause of death was said to be a heart attack but there are various reasons to think that it was a planned murder by the CIA.

1-India without Jawaharlal; Broadcast to the nation, June 11, 1964—Talking about the demise of Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri spoke about how India is going to be without the guidance and leadership of its first Prime Minister. He also highlighted India’s relationship with Pakistan saying that both are two great countries linked together by common history and tradition and therefore it is important to reverse the unfortunate relations between these two countries to prevent human tragedy.

2-Aggression on the Kutch border; Speech in Lok Sabha, 1965—Shastri spoke abou the repeated attacks by Pakistan’s armed forces on the Kuth border. He called the Pakistan armed action an act of naked aggression.  “Pakistan’s claims also ignore the historical fact that even though Kutch-Sind border is undemarcated, it is well defined on maps and well recognised in fact,” he added.”

3-Conditions of ceasefire; Statement in Rajya Sabha, May 3, 1965—Shastri said that it was time to take Pakistan’s repeated attacks on the Kutch border to be taken into consideration. He added that the morale of the Indian armed forces is very high as people of India stand behind them.

4-No deviation from Nehru’s policies; From reply to debate on motion of no confidence, Lok Sabha, September 18, 1964— Shastri said that government of India would continue to follow the policies of Nehru in International matters and that democratic socialism would continue to be the main objective.

 

First Published | 2 October 2017 1:31 PM
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