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Lal Bahadur Shastri: The Beginner of the Concept of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’

Sangeeta Soni
Sangeeta Soni
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastriji, a man of great integrity and competence who has dedicated more than 30 years to the Nation was the second Prime Minister of our Country. The person who gave selfless service to the Nation and the list of his contributions for the country is endless.

Birth- 2nd October, 1904

Bith Place- Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Death- 11 January, 1964

Shastri took over as Prime Minister on June 9, 1964 after the death of first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. He is known for clean image, simplicity, and selfless service to the Nation. He was the Prime Minister of the country for the span of 18 months. India defeated Pakistan in the war under his leadership in 1965.

Lal Bahadur Shastri won everyone’s heart and respect in a short span of time with his honesty, sincerity, and passionate dedication for serving the Nation, without any showmanship.

Green Revolution

In the mid 1960’s, when India was in the agony of a major agricultural crisis, annual imports of wheat from the U.S. amounted to three to four million tonnes. At that time, India was engaged in a war against its neighbouring country Pakistan. And on the other hand, U.S., the main supplier of food to India, threatened to cut supplies of wheat if India didn’t stop the war. India was facing huge shortage of food and was dependent of foreign exports. That time, Shastri brought agriculture to the attention of the Planning Commission. And this change in direction was the driving force behind the Green Revolution. He showed a deep concern for agriculture and was critical of the lack of contact between the elites and the peasants.

And finally, his cooperation and masterstrokes turned India to a food surplus economy.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

The vision to make India Self-Reliant, Aatmanirbhar Bharat with more focus on local manufacturers and service providers was introduced by our second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. He has not coined the word Aatmanirbhar, but with his revolutionary ideas, India took first step towards Aatmanirbharta, and started to become Self-Reliant.

His contributions in Green Revolution, White Revolution and many other fields was the first step of India to become Aatmanirbhar.

ShastriVrat& Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan

During the time of food crisis, Shastri appealed countrymen to skip food a day per week to save food grains. Besides sowing the seeds as a part of Green Revolution and to send the food crisis, Shstri used “Tyag”. He himself started fast along with his family, and people cooperated and gave up one-time meal. And country called it a “Shastri-Vrat”. To boost India’s food production, Shastri brought agriculture to the attention of the Planning Commission. And, he came up with the famous slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”. People got encouraged to take up farming, and finally food crisis ended.

Along with all this, Shastri did a lot more for the Country.

Here is a brief list of his achievements

  • First person to be awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously (after death).

  • When Transport Minister, he introduced a provision for woman drivers and conductors in public transport.

  • As a Home Minister, he introduced a committee on the “Prevention of Corruption”.

  • Along with Green Revolution, He supported White Revolution too.

A person who used to swim across the Ganges with his books tied to his head, to attend the school, as he had no money to pay for a boat ride, did a lot for the Nation, and for the farmers.

And finally, after signing the declaration on January 10, 1996 with Pakistan’s President, to end the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, he left this world mysteriously, with a suspicious death. As Shastri faced sudden heart attack symptoms, Dr.Chugh was informed, and when he came, he began to cry and his words were, “Babuji, you did not give me enough time.”

And at last, Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji took Lord Ram’s name, and left the world.

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Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan…!!

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