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A Curious Case of Lal Bahadur Shastri, India's Second Prime Minister

Updated on March 22, 2016

A True Follower Of Gandhian Thoughts

Lal Bahadur Shastri was an ardent fan of Gandhian thoughts, and followed his path throughout his life. He always performed in the interest of larger interest of people and the nation. He was usually taken as soft spoken, soft hear ted person and was feared that he could not take aggressive decision at the highest level. He proved his critics wrong, during Indo- Pak face off in 1965.

One incident of his childhood changed the thought process of Lal Bahadur Shastri. One day, he was on his was to home from school. There was a mango orchid on the way, so he and his friends decided to pluck mangoes. He was standing under the mangoes tree when the gardener came running towards him. All his other friends ran away, the gardener catch hold of him, started beating and scolding him. Shastri started pleading to leave him as he was an orphan. Taking pity on Shastri, the gardener advised him to be a noble since he was an orphan, it is better to learn good behaviour. These words left an imprint on Shastri mind and he vowed to follow the path of truth and honesty.

During his days as Prime Minister, he lived a simple life. He never showed the arrogance of being a Prime Minister. Many a times, he was treated badly in the parliament also, but he had great control on his emotions. He showed his determination and intelligence through his work.

A mystery that has never been solved and will never be

Introduction :

Lal Bahadur Shastri was a very noble man , who followed the path of non-violence as preached by Mahatma Gandhi. He joined Indian Independence Movement in 1920s to fight against the imperialism of British. Shastri ji as Prime Minister after the death of Nehru continued his predecessor's policy of non-alignment and socialism.

The Night Shastri Died :

It is really unfortunate for a person like Lal Bahadur Shastri who loved his country more than anything else to die on the foreign soil.That unfortunate night was 11 January 1966, even one of his member of journalist had had even dream t of Shastri death.After the farewell party of the signing of Tashkent pact with Pakistan, Shastri ji went to his room , which was extraordinarily large to sleep as he was to leave for Kabul early morning. His sudden death has shocked the entire nation. His personal physician Dr. R. N. Chug has seen no signs of any health problem. There was no signs of heart attack on Shastri body, as he died of heart attack according to the reports. His body turned blue after a few hours. His wife Lalita Shastri noticed it and enquired about it , but she got no response from anyone. She was very angry with the two personal assistants of Lal Bahadur Shastri, as they refused to sign a statement which says that Shastri's death was not natural.

His death has certainly raised many eyebrows. With his death, an era of patriotism, honesty has died. He was initially doubted as slow, ineffective in taking the decisions of important issues, all these inhibitions he successfully overcame in the Indo-Pak war which India won in 1965.

Was He Poisoned?

It is true that many believe a conspiracy around his death, because of the situations and facts of the reports both from India and USSR. Both the countries deny any sort of post-mortem was carried out on his body.His body turned blue, which was pointed by his wife, but she got no response regarding her queries. This would probably the first instance that no post- mortem was carried out on the death of country;s Prime Minister. There was blue spots and cut marks on the abdomen of Shastri's body. The government admitted that no post- mortem was conducted on Shastri's body, if it is so, then how the cut marks came? This question has raised serious doubts over his death.

When Shastri was leaving for Tashkent, he wanted a promise from Ayub Khan that Pakistan would never use force on India in he future. But the talks never succeeded,and what followed the next day was Shastri death. The Indian Government then released no reports of Shastri's death and the media that time was kept silent. There must be a foul play over his death. There are some reasons undermentioned below to raise doubts over his death:

  • When the author of the CIA's An Eye of South Asia, Anuj Dhar filled an application under the right to information act to declassify a document related to his death, the Prime Minister Office has refused saying that it will spoil foreign relations and cause disruption in the country .
  • When there was cut marks and blue spots over his abdomen as mentioned by his wife, why there was no postmortem conducted on his dead body.
  • When the application for disclosure of information is filled under Right to Information Act , the matter is referred to Delhi Police, which says they have no records his death.

All these allegations stage a serious conspiracy into his death. India conducted an inquiry citing the pressure from all quarters of society called Raj Naraine inquiry, as it is known, it did not come up with any conclusions and there is no record of this inquiry in the Indian Parliament's Library. The Prime Minister Office maintains that they have no records pertaining to the loss or destruction of any document bearing Shastri's death.

Many believe that Shastri's death has a bearing with his Prime Ministerial after the death of Nehru. Sources close to Nehru assert that Indira was at the top in the mind of Nehru, as his successor. But, destiny had something else for India to witness the tragedy of Shastri. After the death of Shastri, Gulzari Lal Nanda became the interim Prime Minister.

India lost a hero of its independence. He was the lover of farmers and the army. He was the who gave the slogan Jai Jawan Jawan Kisan. When India was facing acute shortage of food grains. The Prime Minister of India , Shastri, grew vegetables in his official bungalow. He appealed to Indians to fast for one day in a week to save food grains. Such was his honesty, that before appealing to rest of the India, Shastri ji along with his family observe fast for a day to see if his family can bear this fast or not. I am writing to let the world aware of Shastri ji personality and his honesty towards the nation.

His death has definitely raised many eyebrows. Many believe his death is product of a larger conspiracy of countries involved in the Tashkent pact. Shastri did not get the desired results out of the Tashkent pact, as he was promised back in India before leaving for Tashkent. Many people still believe, a conspiracy to murder Shastri and if it all goes in public. The international relations of many countries will deteriorate.


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    • supremeupbeat k profile image

      Mahadeb Kar 2 years ago from Somewhere in India

      Great hub