Lal Bahadur Shastri:
Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of free India. He rose to this high office after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964. He was a man of high ideals. He was the messenger of peace.
He rose from humble life. He was born on October 2nd, 1904 in a family of school teachers. He was educated at Harish Chandra High School and later at Kashi Vidya Peeth at Varanasi. He belonged to a poor family. He had to go to school even by swimming across a river when he had no money to pay the boatman.
He was a very brilliant student. He made a mark in his studies. He pursued his studies in spite of poverty. He stood firm like a rock.
He was a born patriot. It was after listening to a speech of Mahatma Gandhi that he plunged himself into the freedom struggle. He was sent to jail many times by the British government. But he was a man of firm determination. Nothing could shake his faith.
He became the Prime Minister of India after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru. It was all due to his qualities of head and heart that he occupied this high office. He was polite but very firm. Whatever little time he had at his disposal he exalted the position of the office of the Prime Minister. He was very near to the heart of the poor. Whatever he spoke, an average Indian considered it as his own voice.
It was during his tenure that Pakistan started a war against India in 1965. He stood firm like a rock. Pakistan increased great pressure on India in the Jammu Sector. He allowed the Indian army to open Lahore front. This meant full-scale war. It was an acknowledged international frontier. Only he could make the decision. This proved very effective. Pakistan had to retreat in the Jammu Sector.
If he was good at the war front, he was no less good at the peace front. The Tashkent Agreement with Pakistan was arrived at by him. This made him an acknowledged statesman of the world. This showed to the world that India can stand even after Jawaharlal Nehru.
It is, however, said that death snatched this world stateman from our hands. He died in Tashkent after the agreement was signed. General Ayub Khan of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Soviet Russia accompanied his dead body to India. He needs emulation.