2nd October – Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti
Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India. Shastri Ji, born on, 2nd October 1904, shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi. 2nd October, also being the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is a national holiday and schools, colleges and offices remain closed.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was an eminent Indian freedom fighter and a senior Indian National Congress leader who also served in important positions as the Prime Minister of India (1964-1966), Minister of External Affairs (9th June 1964-18th July 1964), Minister of Home Affairs (1961-1963) and Minister of Railways (1951-1956).
Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti 2019
Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti in 2019 was observed on Wednesday, 2nd October 2019. This year, the 115th Birth Anniversary of Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri was celebrated all over the country.
Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi and other leaders of the ruling government as well as opposition paid their homage to Shastriji and remembered his simplicity, policies, and decisions that paved the way for economic progress.
Events were also organized at Shastriji’s ancestral home in Ramnagar. Politicians and locals gathered at the house and paid their respect to Shastriji.
Early Years of Lal Bahadur Shastri
Shastriji was a Kayastha Hindu by birth and was born on 2nd October 1904 at his maternal grandparents’ house at Mughalsarai in United Province.
Father of Shastriji, Shri Sharad Prasad Srivastava died of bubonic plague when Shastriji was only one and a half years old.
His pregnant mother, Ramdulari Devi took her two children including Shastriji to her father’s house who was residing in Mughalsarai.
Shastriji joined Harish Chandra High School in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in the seventh standard.
Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi
Belonging to a family of administrators and public servants, Shastriji had no connection with the Indian freedom struggle in the initial stages of his life.
However, while studying in Varanasi, he was deeply influenced by the patriotism of one of his teachers at Harish Chandra College – Sri Nishkameshwar Prasad Mishra.
In January 1921, Shastriji attended a rally by Gandhiji, in which the latter had called the students to join the non-co-operation movement.
Influenced by Gandhiji’s appeal, Shastriji withdrew from Harish Chandra College and joined the local Congress wing in the protests. He was jailed and later released for being a minor.
Later he joined a nationalist college, Kashi Vidyapeeth at Varanasi and obtained a degree in Philosophy in first class.
After graduation, Shastriji enrolled himself as a member of Servants of People Society, founded by Lala Lajpat Rai.
By 1928 Shastriji had become an active member of the Indian National Congress and also was well known to Gandhiji.
Shastriji was also imprisoned for participating in 1930 Salt Satyagraha. The sentence lasted for nearly two and a half years.
He was again arrested in 1942 for participating in Quit India Movement and was only released in 1946. Shastriji spent almost nine years in prison, during which time he read books written by social reformers and activists.
Shastriji’s Political Career
After India gained independence Shastriji was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in his home state Uttar Pradesh. He also held the position of Minister of Police and Transport in the Government of UP. He made many reformative changes in the police and transport department and also successfully curbed communal riots and mass migrations.
Shastriji was called to Delhi by then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru after the former made a landslide victory in 1952 from Phulpur West seat. He was made Minister of Railways in the first Cabinet of the Republic of India on 13th May 1952.
After the demise of the immediate Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastriji was chosen as the succeeding Prime Minister by the cabinet.
Policies of Shastriji
As the Prime Minister of India, Shastriji played a pivotal role in many national issues. When the declaration of Hindi as a national language was facing stiff resistance by southern states, he intervened and assured that English too will exist to continue as the official language, thereby, pacifying the protestors.
Shastriji was the one who bought the white revolution in India. He supported AMUL Milk Corporation in bringing an economic revolution in the lives of millions of families producing milk. He was also instrumental in creating the National Dairy Development Board.
A famous incident related to the life of Shastriji is related to the food shortage India faced during his Prime Ministership. Shastriji requested every Indian to let go at least one meal a week so that the food thus saved can be given to the needy. Such was the effect of his appeal that event the restaurants kept their doors closed on Monday. People in large numbers observed what they called “Shastri Vrat”.
His slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” which he gave on 19th October 1965, during the ongoing war with Pakistan, became a national slogan.
Shastriji as the Prime Minister was responsible for the Green Revolution and setting up the Food Corporation of India.
Death of Shastriji
After the ceasefire with Pakistan was declared in 1965, Shastriji and the then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent and signed a Tashkent Declaration on 10th January 1966. A day after signing the declaration on 11th January Shastriji died of a heart attack at Tashkent.
Special Events on 113th Birth Anniversary of Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri
Following are the significant upcoming events on Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti-
- A book on Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri will be released on his anniversary at a function in New Delhi. The book titled “Lal Bahadur Shastri: Politics and Beyond” is written by Sandeep Shastri and sheds light on the 2nd Prime Minister’s early influences, political associations, and decisions.
- Politicians from the ruling party as well as from opposition pay their homage to Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri at New Delhi.
How is Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti Celebrated
The Jayanti of Lal Bahadur Shastri is usually celebrated alongside with that of Mahatma Gandhi. People assemble at different locations to remember the two great sons of India and their teachings.
Portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Shastriji are kept alongside each other in schools and offices. Students, teachers and office bearers offer flowers to the pictures and express their views on Shastriji and Gandhiji.
The slogan that Lal Bahadur Shastri gave – “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” meaning “hail the youth, hail the farmer” is also discussed.
People remember Shastriji’s humble background and his simplicity. Shastriji’s immense contribution towards making India a progressive nation as its second Prime Minister is remembered.
A bust of Shastriji at Tashkent in Uzbekistan, where he breathed his last is also cleaned and garlanded by the members of the Indian community and embassy.
Famous Quotes of Lal Bahadur Shastri
“Discipline and united action are the real sources of strength for the nation.”
“We must fight for peace bravely as we fought in the war.”
“We believe in peace and peaceful development, not only for ourselves but for people all over the world.”
“We have to surmount the difficulties that face us and work steadfastly for the happiness and prosperity of our country.”
“We believe in freedom, freedom for the people of each country to follow their destiny without external interference.”
“We can win respect in the world only if we are strong internally and can banish poverty and unemployment from our country.”
“I had always been feeling uncomfortable in my mind about giving advice to others and not acting upon it myself.”
“There was no doubt to be fundamental research in science, but applied research is equally important for new improvements and changes in our techniques.”
“We cannot afford to spend millions and millions over nuclear arms when there are poverty and unemployment all around us.”
“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.”
“Non-alignment will continue to be the fundamental basis of our approach to world problems and our relations with other countries.”