Lal Bahadur Shastry was the second Prime Minister of India, serving from 1964 to 1966, and he played a pivotal role in the country’s early post-independence years. His leadership and simplicity left a lasting impact on India’s political landscape. Read More Class 8 English Summaries.
Lal Bahadur Shastry Summary
Lal Bahadur Shastry Summary in English
The given lesson ‘Lal Bahadur Shastry’ is the story of one of the great sons of India. It is the life story of Lal Bahadur Shastry, who never aspired for power. But he was elected as the Prime Minister of India after Pt. Nehru.
Lal Bahadur Shastry was born on October 2, 1904 (He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi), at Mughal Sarai. He was born to Sharada Prasad and Dulari Devi. He was brave, kind, and full of courage. Even as a boy, he was very kind to other people. Once, when he was taking a stroll with his uncle he was accosted by an old man who was selling fruits. The vendor offered to sell them a hundred fruits for an anna, as it was getting dark and he had to go back home. Lal Bahadur took pity on him and gave him one anna for the fruits and took them without even counting them.
After his school education, he joined Kashi Vidya Pita and studied there for four years. He was bright in subjects like Philosophy, Economics, Political science, and Social science. He was awarded the degree ‘Shastry’ while he studied at Kashi Vidyapita. He had to live on a meager two and a half rupees per month while he was a student.
Later he joined the Indian National Congress and participated in the Non-Cooperation movement and Dandi March. After Independence, he served as Home and Transport minister in U.P. Later he was appointed as Prime minister after Pt. Nehru’s death.
Once, before Independence, his daughter contracted smallpox. It was a dreadful killer in those days. At that time, Shastry was imprisoned. He sought permission to visit his daughter. The British Government agreed to release him on parole for 15 days on condition that he should not participate in any agitations. He refused to accept such conditions and wished to stay in prison. But eventually, the Government agreed and released him without condition. He came back home but unfortunately, his daughter died on them someday. After performing her funeral rites, he decided to return to prison, even when there were four days of parole left.
When Lal Bahadur Shastry was a Railway minister he made a lot of effort to reduce the vast difference between the first and last classes in the railway coaches. He made efforts to provide more facilities to travelers in the last class coaches and to eliminate thefts on trains.
Even as a Prime Minister of India he led a simple life. When he was a Railway minister, he accepted moral responsibility for a railway accident at Arialur had resigned for the ministry. When the country was facing a food shortage, he and his family ate only one meal a day and he also urged people of the country to eat less. When he was a Prime Minister, he could not even afford to own a car and had to buy a car after seeking a loan from the
hire a cook to cook food for his family. Although Shastry was physically weak he was strong in mind and action. He was tactful but firm and took bold decisions. When citizens of India started agitating when the Government made an effort to force Hindi on them by making it a sole official language he announced that English would continue to be’ an associate official language.
He was daring enough to give a free hand to the army to act against Pakistan when it attacked Jammu and Kashmir. India won the war.
In conclusion, Lal Bahadur Shastry’s leadership during a critical period in India’s history, marked by the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and food scarcity, showcased his dedication to public service and his commitment to social and economic progress. His legacy endures as a symbol of integrity and humility in Indian politics.