“There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need to be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.”
– Lal Bahadur Shastri
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Former Prime Minister of India Lal, Bahadur Shastri was one the greatest leaders India had and he has left an indelible impression on our lives. He was looked upon by Indians as one of their own. On Lal Bahadur Shastri’s 112th birth anniversary, here are few things about him and his achievements, that has made India a better country.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was not born with the title ‘Shastri’. Only after he graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth, the title of Shastri (scholar) was awarded to him.
For the first time in India, Lal Bahadur Shastri as a Transport Minister made it possible for women to be work as conductors in transportation facilities.
The idea of using jets of water to disperse the crowd rather than lathi-charge was introduced by Lal Bahadur Shastri.
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Shastri signed an accord with the Prime minister of Sri Lankan Sirimavo Bandaranaike known as the Sirima-Shastri Pact or the Bandaranaike-Shastri Pact.
According to the agreement, 600,000 Indian Tamils were to be repatriated, 375,000 were to be granted citizenship of Sri Lanka. Though, after his death, India took only 300,000 Tamils as repatriates and SriLanka granted citizenship to only 185,000 citizens.
His slogan during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan! reverberates throughout the country, even today. He understood how important soldiers and farmers are for which he shared this slogan with the people.
Shastri was the one who promoted the White Revolution in India, by supporting the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat and also created the National Dairy Development Board.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Shastri and then President of the Pakistan, Mohammed Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan). On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration (agreement between India and Pakistan).
Shastri died in Tashkent, on that day itself after signing the Tashkent Declaration. It was reported that he died due to a heart attack, but his sudden death raised many questions in the minds of the citizens of India; people allege conspiracy behind the death and still remain a mystery.