NEW DELHI: The 53rd death anniversary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who died in Russia's Tashkent on January 11, 1966, following a massive heart attack, is being observed on Friday.
Shastri, who became part of the country's struggle for freedom since the 1920s, later went on to become the second Prime Minister of independent India.
He took charge as the Prime Minister after the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru.
After assuming charge as the second Prime Minister, Shastri steered the nation out of an extremely tough situation post the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.
Concerned about the plight of his countrymen under the tyrannical British Rule, Shastri joined the national freedom movement at a young age drawing inspiration from the then top leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dr Rajendra Prasad etc.
An orator par excellence, the short-statured leader was also known for his extreme will-power.
A man of great discipline and integrity, Shastri supported the cause of farmers and made people understand the importance of self-sustenance.
Shastri also popularized the famous slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ during the period of the war.
He was highly respected for his philosophy of 'simple living and high thinking' and remained concerned about the common man throughout his life.
He introduced effective strategies in times of crisis during his term as a Prime Minister like the Green Revolution and White Revolution.
Shastri suffered a massive heart attack and died on January 11, 1966, in Russia's Tashkent where he signed a peace agreement between India and Pakistan post-1965 War. However, his death is still mired in controversy and demands being made from various quarters to the Government of India to declassify secret files related to his death.
Here are some of his famous quotes:-
1.'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'
2. It is most regrettable that nuclear energy is being harnessed today for making nuclear weapons.
3. Discipline and united action are the real sources of strength for the nation.
4. We can win respect in the world only if we remain strong internally.
5. India can fight poverty and unemployment by becoming self-reliant in core sectors.
6. As a nation, we must fight for peace as we fought in a war.