Lal Bahadur Shastri Death Anniversary: The 55th death anniversary of India’s second prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri is being observed today.

A great freedom fighter and statesman – Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’, capturing the true spirit of India, inspires Indians across generations. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s public life has left an indelible mark on the country. He was unique in the way he connected with the common man.

Humble, soft-spoken but a strong leader, Lal Bahadur Shastri took over as the Prime Minister in May 1964, after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru. In Independent India’s first cabinet, Lal Bahadur Shastri held key portfolios like the Home Affairs and the Railways.

During the 1965 India-Pak war, when the country faced food scarcity Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the Prime Minister then, stopped drawing his salary. Shastri’s slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ during the 1965 war boosted the morale of the soldiers as well as farmers amid food scarcity.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man of tremendous integrity; he resigned from his post of Railways Minister because he felt responsible for a railway accident which had killed many people. Shastri promoted the White Revolution, a countrywide campaign to increase milk production. He supported the Amul milk co-operative at Anand in Gujarat and created the National Dairy Development Board.

To boost India’s food production, Lal Bahadur Shastri promoted the Green Revolution in India in 1965, which led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. His tenure as the Prime Minister was only for 19 months. He died in Tashkent on January 11, 1966.

“True democracy or the swaraj of the masses can never come through untruthful and violent means, for the simple reason that the natural corollary to their use would be to remove all opposition through the suppression or extermination of the antagonist” – Lal Bahadur Shastri

“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.” – Lal Bahadur Shastri

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