Lal Bahadur Shastri: Ten lesser known facts about the second prime minister of India

Reputed for his soft spoken nature and clean image, Shastri is said to have practiced severe austerity measures at home before applying them for the country's benefit.

Written by Adrija Roychowdhury | New Delhi | Updated: October 2, 2016 5:36 pm
Lal Bahadur Shastri, Lal Bahadur Shastri birth anniversary, Lal Bahadur Shastri birthday, Lal Bahadur Shastri life, second prime minister of India, Indian Express Lal Bahadur Shastri

The second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri entered the political arena for the first time when he became part of the Indian national movement as a young teenager. After being a satyagrahi for long he joined independent India’s government under Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and succeeded him as Prime Minister on June 9th, 1964. Reputed for his soft spoken nature and clean image, he is said to have practiced severe austerity measures at home before applying them for the country’s benefit.

As we celebrate the birth anniversary of Shastri, here is a collection of ten lesser known facts about the “man of peace”.

Watch Video: Ten lesser known facts about Lal Bahadur Shastri

1. Lal Bahadur got his degree ‘shastri’ while he was studying in Kashi Vidyapeeth university in Varanasi in 1926 as a mark of scholarly success

2. Shastri’s mother had lost Shastri while taking a bath in the Ganges when he was 3 months old. Following an FIR, a cowherd who had no children, unwillingly returned him to his mother

3.  As a school boy, Shastri would swim across the Ganges twice a day with his books tied on top of his head. He did not have enough money to take a ferry to school

4.  As Minister of police in Uttar Pradesh, Shastri was the first person who used jets of water to disperse crowd instead of a lathi charge

5.  On the occasion of his wedding, Shastri took a khadi cloth and a spinning wheel as part of dowry

6.  Jawaharlal Nehru had once described Shastri as “half-civilised” because he would frequently appear in a dhoti

7.  Shastri’s family was surviving on a pension of Rs. 50 per month, when he was in jail during the freedom struggle. His wife informed him that she saved Rs.10 from that money. Shastri asked the Servants of People’s Society for his pension to be reduced and Rs.10 to be paid to some needy.

8. When his son was given an undue promotion at a department, Shastri had it reversed immediately

9.  Shastri had a habit of revising drafts endless number of times. In 1964, he revised his speech for a conference in Cairo so many times that by the time he went to speak it could not be typed in full

10. On the occasion of his birth centenary in 2004, the RBI issued a Rs.100 coin with his portrait on it, commemorating his life. The coin is non-circulating and is available on order alone.

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  1. I
    indian
    Oct 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm
    Awesome PM. And to think Nehru called him "half-civilized". That Nehru-hi family is the bane of India!
    Reply
    1. O
      Ordinary Indian
      Oct 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm
      Lal bahadur was murdered by comghressis Ne hru nigode ne
      Reply
      1. S
        sanjeev
        Oct 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm
        Why the coin commemorating life of Shastri ji is still not in circulation? Present government should make it available for circulation.
        Reply
        1. B
          bitterhoney
          Oct 2, 2016 at 6:42 pm
          What a great contrast between the lifestyles of Modi and Shastri. We can find thousands of Modis but we can hardly find another Shastri, the real Mahatma.
          Reply
          1. R
            ReaderJAGDISH AAROHI
            Oct 2, 2016 at 4:32 pm
            I am a great fan of Shree Lal bahadur Shashtri, I must confess.
            Reply
            1. R
              ReaderJAGDISH AAROHI
              Oct 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm
              You can read this too:
              Reply
              1. M
                mtv
                Oct 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm
                Indira married a Parsi (not a muslim) Feroze Jehangir Ghandy. Nehru family manited Ghandy name to hi as surname for Indira's children and the parambara continues for the detriment of congress party and the country at large.
                Reply
                1. M
                  mtv
                  Oct 2, 2016 at 1:48 pm
                  Now BJP can take over him and celebrate his birth day, as they are doing with so many other national and congress leaders of the past. In any case, the congress dynasty and chamchas have done nothing for anybody outside the family.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    mtv
                    Oct 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm
                    Will your "anybody" include Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, non-upper caste Hindus, non-Hindi speaking potion also? I doubt.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Nisha Dev
                      Oct 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm
                      The best Prime Minister. Even though I loved Chacha Nehru more.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        naresh
                        Oct 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm
                        Chacha Chor.
                        Reply
                        1. N
                          naresh
                          Oct 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm
                          There is no y name among the Parsis.
                          Reply
                          1. O
                            OmKar
                            Oct 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm
                            What about Nehru who called him half civilized. Modi is only and only and will remain indian PM till 2029.
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Para Brahman
                              Oct 2, 2016 at 11:47 pm
                              So....if our great "Pandit" Nehru called Shastri half-civilized for his preference to wear traditional clothing....wonder what he would be calling hi in private conversation with Ms. Mountbatten..bet it must be have been something similar to.... "half Naked fakir"!!!
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Ram
                                Oct 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm
                                A REAL Mahatma of the people.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sawan
                                  Oct 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm
                                  It is not in circulation but can be ordered from the RBI. You will have to pay more than Rs 100.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sawan
                                    Oct 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm
                                    You mean like Nathuram Godse? Modiji should get all the records and let Siddharth Nath Singh lead the investigations. BTW, What happened to the Netaji conspiracy theory?
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      asif
                                      Oct 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm
                                      One thing I read abt 2nd PM Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri that should have been included in 10 facts ..lt;br/gt;Once Pandit Nehru wanted Shastriji to visit Kashmir for some officia work but Shastriji kept on delaying it, lt;br/gt;Later Nehruji asked about the delay then Shastriji mentioned he didnt had a warm coat to protect from the severe cold lt;br/gt;.lt;br/gt;.lt;br/gt;What a gem of a person
                                      Reply
                                      1. B
                                        Bert Brech
                                        Oct 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm
                                        Her husband was a Parsi called Feroze y.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          Bert Brech
                                          Oct 2, 2016 at 1:15 pm
                                          Shastri had every good quality the arrogant ineffective boaster Nehru lacked.
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Prateik
                                            Oct 2, 2016 at 1:52 pm
                                            Anybody who isn't a hy or Nehru belongs to BJP.
                                            Reply
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