Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India, was not just a politician, but a symbol of humility, simplicity, and unwavering dedication to his nation. Born in 1904, Shastri’s life and career were marked by his commitment to public service and his ability to lead with quiet strength, especially during one of India’s most challenging periods.

Lal Bahadur Shastri’s life and work continue to inspire millions of Indians. He was a leader who embodied the values of simplicity, honesty, and dedication to public service. His legacy as a humble leader who steered India through crisis remains etched in the nation’s history.


  • Born: October 2, 1904, in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh
  • Died: 11 January 1966, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Father: Sharad Prasad Srivastava, a school-teacher
  • Mother: Ramdulari Devi
  • Education: Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi (earned the title “Shastri”)
  • Joined the Indian National Congress in 1928
  • Became Minister of Police and Transport in Uttar Pradesh after independence
  • Became Prime Minister in 1964 after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Died in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1966, shortly after signing the Tashkent Agreement with Pakistan
  • Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1966

Early Life and Freedom Struggle:

  • Shastri’s early life was shaped by challenges. He lost his father at a young age and had to leave his studies to support his family.
  • Despite these hardships, he actively participated in the Indian independence movement, joining Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle against British rule.
  • Shastri was imprisoned multiple times for his activism, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom.

Political Rise and Key Achievements:

  • After India’s independence in 1947, Shastri held various ministerial positions, including Minister of Railways and Minister of Home Affairs.
  • He was known for his administrative skills, problem-solving abilities, and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
  • In 1964, following the death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastri assumed the leadership of the nation.

Leadership During Crisis:

  • Shastri’s tenure as Prime Minister coincided with some of India’s most challenging moments:
    • The 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, where he rallied the nation and led to a decisive victory.
    • The Great Famine of 1965-66, where he launched the iconic “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer) campaign to boost agricultural production and fight hunger.
  • Despite these challenges, Shastri’s leadership was marked by:
    • Calmness and resolve in the face of adversity.
    • Strong moral compass and commitment to democratic values.
    • Emphasis on self-reliance and national unity.


  • Shastri’s legacy extends far beyond his short tenure as Prime Minister. He is remembered for:
    • His humility and simplicity, earning him the nickname “The Servant of India.”
    • His courage and leadership during times of crisis.
    • His unwavering commitment to social justice and equality.
    • His slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” continues to inspire generations of Indians.

Beyond the Political Sphere:

  • Shastri was also a writer and penned several books on various topics, including his autobiography.
  • He was a man of family and faith, known for his deep love for his wife and children and his adherence to traditional values.