The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
Tashkent Declaration and Untimely Death of Lal Bahadur Shastri
Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity For all, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.
There never was a good war or a bad peace… Shastriji’s thoughts were akin to Benjamin Franklin’s. Lal Bahadur Shastri was essentially a man of peace and a staunch believer in democracy and socialism. A believer also in consensus, a patient listener, and ever prepared for accommodation if it was in the best interest of the country, he did not let things drift beyond the limit.
He had the gift of distinguishing between what is practicable from what is desirable. His prompt decision to accept the ceasefire and his quick positive response to the Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin’s invitation to meet General Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan at Tashkent were evident of a clear, decisive and firm mind’s quest for peace, which brought about the historic meet at Tashkent, the historic Tashkent Declaration and his greatest hour of triumph in the pursuit of peace in Asia and the world.
Without sparing his strength Shastriji did everything to consolidate peace in Asia, to find ways to end the conflict between India and Pakistan and to establish good neighbourly relations between them, displaying astute statesmanship. It was to the solution of this task that his efforts were directed during the Tashkent meeting with the President of Pakistan, as a result of which an agreement was reached as expressed in the historic Tashkent Declaration. This was his last and greatest gift to India, Pakistan and the world.
The Tashkent Declaration is a deed of historic importance to the Sub-continent, and, in fact, to the entire world. President Dr. Radhakrishnan has said that the pledge Shastri took-with his life at Tashkent can and must be redeemed by all his countrymen, who have been left behind to carry his will and behest. Shastriji was convinced that the people of India and Pakistan, as one with the other peoples of the world, will meet with satisfaction the results of the Tashkent meeting.
The Tashkent Declaration expressed the aspirations of all those who treasure peace on earth. It meets the vital interests of people of India and Pakistan. It is a triumph of goodwill and the innate desire of all to settle disputes, not on the field of battle but at the conference table. It is now for the people concerned to ensure that this Tashkent spirit prevails and that light is not dimmed by any unilateral acts of omission and commission.
It was most unfortunate for India that, in the great hour of triumph and height of glory in the pursuit of peace and understanding in Asia and the world and even before the ink in the historic pact- document was dry, Shastriji passed away on January 11, 1966 at 1.30 AM at Tashkent, capital of the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. The man who had worked indefatigably for peace and succeeded in creating a conducive climate and paving the way for it, breathed his last striving for peace and could not see the new chapter that was to open in the relations between India and Pakistan.
At Tashkent, it has been truly said that humanity won a battle of peace, but lost a hero. Lal Bahadur Shastri, a Messiah of Peace, died a martyr in the cause of peace. To the very end of his life he stood and strove for peace not only between India and Pakistan but among all nations of the world.
O Nanak! Be tiny like grass; For other plants will wither away, but grass will remain ever green.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was declared to have mysteriously died L» of cardiac arrest on 11 January, 1966 at Tashkent. He is the only Indian Prime Minister to have died in office, overseas. He was survived by his wife Lalita Devi, daughter Kusum and four sons — Hari Krishna Shastri, Anil Shastri, Sunil Shastri and Ashok Shastri. Adarsh Shastri is his grandson and son of Anil Shastri.
Lal Bahadur Shastri held charge of the country for a brief period of 18 months. Even during this period he made to the country’s heritage a contribution which can compare with the best in its richness and variety. He not only preserved but also strengthened the legacy of Gandhi and Nehru.
His composed calmness in the midst of turmoil and excitement, and his cool determination showed his countrymen where their strength lay. In fact, these were the qualities which enabled him to grapple with the multifarious problems which confronted the country at the time he was called upon to wear the mantle of Pt. Nehru. The world has acknowledged that he wore it well.
It would be futile to speculate to what further heights Lal Bahadur Shastri would have risen, had he been allowed some more time to serve the country. But none will easily forget that it was that simple, unassuming man who rehabilitated his countrymen’s belief in the destiny of India and restored the country’s image abroad when almost the whole world predicted for it nothing but confusion and chaos. He left India and the world much better than he found them, and although he shone on the Indian firmament for a brief period, he blazed a new trail for others to follow.
Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the nation the slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kishan” and exhorted the people to make all sacrifices in the hour of adversity. More than three decades later, then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee added “Jai Vigyan” to the slogan. Lal Bahadur Shastri was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna award in 1966. A memorial was set up at Vijay Ghat, Delhi, which will always remind us about this Great Son of India.