Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first Prime Minister of Independent India and shares birthday with Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. The former PM is someone who left a great impression on lives of people of the country. He was also a leader of the Indian National Congress party and joined the independence movement in 1920s. Shastri was born on the same date in 1904. A supporter of Jawahar Lal Nehru and critic of Nehru’s socialist policies, Shastri has been a man of his terms. On his 61st death anniversary, here are 5 things about the freedom fighter:

Jai Jawan Jai Kisan

“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer” was the popular slogan during farmer’s slogans started by Shastri. Keeping in mind the significance of soldiers and farmers in the independence struggle, the slogan came into being. In view of the food condition and hunger in the country, he had urged people of the nation to hold fast for a day. He coined the slogan during Indo-Pak war of 1965 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. ALSO READ- 112th Birth Anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri: Know the man behind the slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’

As the Prime Minister
Then Congress Party President K Kamaraj is responsible in making Shastri Prime Minister of India on June 9. Shastri led India in the 1965 Indo-Pak War. In his first speech as the PM, he stated, “There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the cross-roads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a secular mixed-economy democracy at home with freedom and prosperity, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with select nations.”

Not a born Shastri

In 1917, Shastri joined the seventh standard at Harish Chandra High School in Varanasi. When he graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth, the title of Shastri was awarded to him as a bachelor’s degree, but it stuck as part of his name. Shastri was among the few students who graduated with a first-class degree in philosophy and ethics from the Vidyapith in 1925. The title was a bachelor’s degree awarded by the Vidyapith, but it stuck as part of his name.

Some notable changes

It was Lal Bahadur Shastri’s effort that helped women to be appointed as conductors in transportation. Shastri was the mind behind the use of jets of water to disperse the crowd rather than lathi-charge. During his regime as police minister, he successfully curbed communal riots in, mass migration and resettlement of refugee.

Controversial death

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 formally ended with the Tashkent Agreement of January 10, 1966, following which Shastri died the next day in Tashkent. There are various theories of his death. While some say that the cause of death was heart attack, there is a popular belief that it was a planned murder by the CIA.