Lal Bahadur Sastri

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Agantrope, May 12, 2010.

  1. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Lal Bahadur Shrivastav Shastri (Hindi: लालबहादुर शास्त्री , pronounced [laːl bəˈhaːdʊr ˈʃaːstriː]; 2 October 1904 - 11 January 1966) was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a significant figure in the Indian independence movement.

    Early life

    Lal Bahadur was born in Mughalsarai, United Provinces, British India to Sharada Shrivastava Prasad, a poor school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad[1] and Ramdulari Devi. When he was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherder's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The cowherder, who had no children, took the child as a gift from God and took him home. Lal Bahadur's parents lodged a complaint with the police, who traced the child, and returned him to his parents[2].
    His father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother took him and his two sisters to her father's house and settled down there[3]. Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather Hazari Lal's house till he was ten. Since there was no high school in their town, he was sent to Varanasi where he stayed with his maternal uncle and joined the Harischandra High School. While in Varanasi, Shastri once went with his friends to see a fair on the other bank of the Ganges. On the way back he had no money for the boat fare. Instead of borrowing from his friends, he jumped into the river and swam to the other bank[4].
    As a boy, Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak's verses. He revered Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a speech of Mahatma Gandhi at Varanasi in 1915, he dedicated his life to the service of the country[5]. He also dropped his surname Shrivastav, as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system[1]. During the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, he joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was a minor[6]. He then enrolled at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. During his four years there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy. Upon completion of his course at Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926, he was given the title Shastri ("Scholar"). The title was a bachelor's degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth, but it stuck as part of his name[3]. He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur[7]. Later he became the President of the Society[8].
    In 1927, Shastri married Lalita Devi of Mirzapur. In spite of the prevailing hefty dowry tradition, Shastri accepted only a charkha and a few yards of khadi as dowry. In 1930, he threw himself into the freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for two and a half years[9]. Once, while he was in prison, one of his daughters fell seriously ill. He was released for fifteen days, on the condition that he not take part in the freedom movement. However, his daughter died before he reached home. After performing the funeral rites, he voluntarily returned to prison, even before the expiration of the period[10]. A year later, he asked for permission to go home for a week, as his son had contracted influenza. The permission was given, but his son's illness was not cured in a week. In spite of his family's pleadings, he kept his promise to the jail officers and returned to the prison[10].
    Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937[11]. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha support to the freedom movement[12]. On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech at Gowalia Tank in Mumbai, demanding that the British leave India. Shastri, who had just then come out after a year in prison, traveled to Allahabad. For a week, he sent instructions to the freedom fighters from Jawaharlal Nehru's hometown, Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946[12]. Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total[13]. During his stay in prison, he spent time reading books and became familiar with the works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers. He also translated the autobiography of Marie Curie into Hindi language[9].

    Early life

    Lal Bahadur was born in Mughalsarai, United Provinces, British India to Sharada Shrivastava Prasad, a poor school teacher, who later became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad[1] and Ramdulari Devi. When he was three months old, he slipped out of his mother's arms into a cowherder's basket at the ghats of the Ganges. The cowherder, who had no children, took the child as a gift from God and took him home. Lal Bahadur's parents lodged a complaint with the police, who traced the child, and returned him to his parents[2].
    His father died when he was only a year and a half old. His mother took him and his two sisters to her father's house and settled down there[3]. Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather Hazari Lal's house till he was ten. Since there was no high school in their town, he was sent to Varanasi where he stayed with his maternal uncle and joined the Harischandra High School. While in Varanasi, Shastri once went with his friends to see a fair on the other bank of the Ganges. On the way back he had no money for the boat fare. Instead of borrowing from his friends, he jumped into the river and swam to the other bank[4].
    As a boy, Lal Bahadur loved reading books and was fond of Guru Nanak's verses. He revered Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. After hearing a speech of Mahatma Gandhi at Varanasi in 1915, he dedicated his life to the service of the country[5]. He also dropped his surname Shrivastav, as it indicated his caste and he was against the caste system[1]. During the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921, he joined processions in defiance of the prohibitory order. He was arrested but let off as he was a minor[6]. He then enrolled at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. During his four years there, he was greatly influenced by the lectures of Dr. Bhagawandas on philosophy. Upon completion of his course at Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926, he was given the title Shastri ("Scholar"). The title was a bachelor's degree awarded by the Vidya Peeth, but it stuck as part of his name[3]. He also enrolled himself as a life member of the Servants of the People Society and began to work for the upliftment of the Harijans at Muzaffarpur[7]. Later he became the President of the Society[8].
    In 1927, Shastri married Lalita Devi of Mirzapur. In spite of the prevailing hefty dowry tradition, Shastri accepted only a charkha and a few yards of khadi as dowry. In 1930, he threw himself into the freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for two and a half years[9]. Once, while he was in prison, one of his daughters fell seriously ill. He was released for fifteen days, on the condition that he not take part in the freedom movement. However, his daughter died before he reached home. After performing the funeral rites, he voluntarily returned to prison, even before the expiration of the period[10]. A year later, he asked for permission to go home for a week, as his son had contracted influenza. The permission was given, but his son's illness was not cured in a week. In spite of his family's pleadings, he kept his promise to the jail officers and returned to the prison[10].
    Later, he worked as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937[11]. In 1940, he was sent to prison for one year, for offering individual Satyagraha support to the freedom movement[12]. On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech at Gowalia Tank in Mumbai, demanding that the British leave India. Shastri, who had just then come out after a year in prison, traveled to Allahabad. For a week, he sent instructions to the freedom fighters from Jawaharlal Nehru's hometown, Anand Bhavan. A few days later, he was arrested and imprisoned until 1946[12]. Shastri spent almost nine years in jail in total[13]. During his stay in prison, he spent time reading books and became familiar with the works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers. He also translated the autobiography of Marie Curie into Hindi language[9].

    Death at Tashkent


    Shastri statue in Mumbai


    the name is seen in the plaque in Mumbai in Maharashtra, India
    After the declaration of ceasefire, Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan), organised by Kosygin. On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration.
    The next day Shastri, who had suffered two heart attacks earlier, died supposedly of a heart attack at 1:32 AM.[7].One perception of his death out of hysteria is also common among the masses. He was the only Indian Prime Minister, and indeed probably one of the few heads of government, to have died in office overseas.[20]
    [edit]Mystery of Shastri's Death
    Although officially it was maintained that Shastri died of heart attack, his widow, Lalita Shastri kept alleging that her husband was poisoned. Many believed that Shastri's body turning blue was an evidence of his poisoning. Indeed a Russian butler attending to him was arrested on suspicion of poisoning Shastri, but was later absolved of charges.[21]
    In 2009, when Anuj Dhar, author of CIA's Eye on South Asia, asked the Prime Minister's Office under an RTI plea (Right to Information Act), that Shastri's cause of death be made public, the PMO refused to oblige, citing that this could lead to harming of foreign relations, cause disruption in the country and cause breach of parliamentary privileges.[21]
    The PMO did inform however that it had in its possession one document related to Shastri's death, but refused to declassify it. The government also admitted that no postmortem examination had been conducted on him in USSR, but it did have a report of a medical investigation conducted by Shastri's personal physician Dr. R.N. Chugh and some Russian doctors. Furthermore, the PMO revealed that there was no record of any destruction, or loss, of documents in the PMO having a bearing on Shastri's death. As of July 2009, the home ministry is yet to respond to queries whether India conducted a postmortem and if the government had investigated allegations of foul play.[21]
    Circumstances of Shastri's death do indeed make a case for close inquiry. On the night of 11 January, Shastri was awakened by a severe coughing fit. Dr. R.N. Chugh came to his aid. Shastri was unable to speak and pointed to a flask kept nearby. A staffer brought some water which Shastri sipped. Shortly afterward, Shastri became unconscious and attempts to revive him proved futile.
    A cold case forensic enquiry which keeps these facts in consideration, could point to three causes - in order of probability.
    Myocardial Infarction (ordinarily known as Heart Attack)
    Café Coronary (impaction of food in windpipe - in this case, drops of water)
    Poisoning by some very quick acting poison, say cyanide although its probability is minimal.

    Memorial
    All his lifetime, Shastri was known for honesty and humility. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, and a memorial "Vijay Ghat" was built for him in Delhi. Several educational institutes, Shashtri National Academy of Administration (Mussorie) is after his name these were some examples. The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute was named after Shastri due to his role in promoting scholarly activity between India and Canada.[22]
    In 2005, the Government of India created a chair in his honour in the field of democracy and governance at Delhi University[23].

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lal_Bahadur_Shastri
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    just my observation.If by some reason person get suffocated his body starts turning blue....And in case of LB shashtri was patient of asthma from childhood and any asthmatic attack can suffocate a person resulting in death if no precaution is taken.
     

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