Lal Bahadur Shastri was one of the biggest followers of Mahatma Gandhi, also sharing his birthday on 2nd October. He became the Prime Minister of our nation after Jawaharlal Nehru. Let’s know a little more about what makes him a great leader.

1. Shastriji, in his early days

He was called Nanhe by his family, and lived a tough life. He lost his father when he was just a year and a half old, and was sent away by his mother to live with his uncle so that he could attend high school. He walked to school everyday, bare feet under the scorching heat of the sun. 

He was against the prevailing cast system and therefore decided to drop his surname—Shrivastav. His last name Shastri is actually a bachelor’s degree awarded to him from Vidya Peeth, as he discontinued his studies and joined Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation movement when he was 16 years old. The tittle ‘Shastri’ refers to a scholar. 

2. Shastriji taking part in the Salt march

During the struggle for independence, he led many campaigns and served several years in jail. After independence, he held important posts as part of the Congress government and gained the trust of many. He always felt that people thought him weak due to his small physical frame, but over time he came to be known for his virtues, integrity and a firm mind. 

After being defeated by the Chinese, he led the country bravely as our second Prime Minister, during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965. 

3. A memorable picture from 1955

He popularized the slogan ‘Jai jawan jai kisaan’, stressing on self reliance and self belief in times of struggle.

4. Shastri with his kisaans

He was responsible for the Green Revolution related to food shortage and the White Revolution related to Dairy development in the country. 

5. Shastriji promoting the White Revolution

He was the first administrator to suggest and implement the use of water jets instead of lathi charges. 

6. Shastri is commended for his brilliant ideas

He was a man of simple attire and a calm disposition with excellent leadership qualities. 

7. Shastri getting a portrait made

Lal Bahadur Shastri was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award just before his death in 1966.

8. Lal Bahadur Shastri, our great leader!

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