Two years back, disheartened after watching the nation ignore yet another birthday of his father, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son Sunil Shastri has requested the central government to change the date of birth of his father so that he no longer shares his birthday with the Father of Nation “Mahatma Gandhi”.
1. Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in Ramnagar in Varanasi in a Kayastha family, but as Shastriji didn’t believe in caste discrimination. Later, when he graduated at Kashi Vidyapeeth, he was given the title of Shastri (scholar).
2. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s fondness for Mahatma Gandhi is well known. Not many know that Shastri was also influenced by Bal Gangadhar (Lokmanya) Tilak in his early days.
3. In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi call for youth to come out of schools and colleges and join the Non-Cooperation movement, Shastri paid attention to that call. This also marked Shastri’s first contribution towards India’s freedom.
4. Lal Bahadur Shastri went to jail as early as when he was 17-years-old. Jailed for his participation in non-cooperation movement, Shastri was later let-off as he was only 17 (minor) then.
5. In 1930, during the Civil Disobedience Movement Lal Bahadur Shastri was again jailed for his participation in it. This time Shastri served a jail-term of two and half years. Shastri learned about western philosophers and social reformers during his jail-term.
6. Lal Bahadur Shastri was also arrested in 1940, and 1941 till 1946. The fact will surprise you a bit that Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total during India’s Independence activism.
7. Not many know that the credit of appointing women conductors in transportation facilities go to Lal Bahadur Shastri. As a transport minister post-independence, Shastri achieved this feat.
8. Another little known fact about Lal Bahadur Shastri is that it was him who ordered using jets of water instead of lathis to disperse the crowd; during his charge as a minister of Police Department.
9. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the brain-child of landslide victories of the Congress party in General Elections 1952, 1957 and 1962.
10. The credit of first appointing the committee on Prevention of Corruption also goes to Lal Bahadur Shastri during his tenure as Union Home Minister.
He is no less than a Gandhi and deserves to be remembered on 2nd October!!!