On October 2, the nation celebrated the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. But along with that, it’s the birthday of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri. The 2nd Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shashtri was born 117 years ago. Interestingly, Lal Bahadur Shashtri was also known as the
He was a part of India’s freedom struggle and had a long political career that began from the city of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The five feet tall politician ended up in the most important political position of the Prime Minister of India. He took over the position after the death of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and held it for 19 months until he passed away in 1966.
His 19 months tenure was met with several challenges right from the food crisis in the country to anti-Hindi agitation in the south. The change he made was by solving all these problems with discussions and going out within the people. He ably coordinated plans and ensured their accurate execution.
Still, the biggest challenge and the most crucial stage of his tenure came with the Indo-Pak war in 1965. He was always viewed as a timid and vulnerable person.
But this handling of the situation proved otherwise and everyone witnessed his strength and bravery. Even Pakistan believed him to be a weak PM and found his term as the PM, a good opportunity to attack India.
Shastri tackled the situation with a firm attitude, determination, and right decisions at the right time. He together attained the support of Bureaucracy, political leaders, and Armies. His decision to allow the Indian Army to enter Pakistan and destroy the important military installations was allegedly the First surgical Strike by India. India won the war and Lal Bahadur Shashtri was now perceived as a strong Prime Minister of India. But, something mysterious followed the victory.
After the war, a post-war Agreement was Signed between India and Pakistan at Tashkent. Lal Bahadur Shastri died suddenly during the initial hours of January 11. It was just 12 hours after the peace contract was signed with Pakistan after lots of negotiations at Tashkent on January 10, 1966.
No one knows what exactly happened that night in Tashkent and the mystery continues even after 55 years. According to the official statement released at that time, he died of a heart attack but there was no accurate evidence of it. There was a lot of pressure on Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri after signing the peace contract with Pakistan. He was criticized for giving back Haji Pir and Tithwal region to Pakistan that came to India during the war. It is said that even his wife was angry over him for giving back the area occupied in war.
Kuldeep Nayyar, the Information officer of former PM Shastri Accompanied him to Tashkent. In an interview, he said that after signing the deal Lal Bahadur Shashtri called his home at night. He asked the phone to be given to his wife but his elder daughter came and said that she will not come on the phone because he gave Haji Pir and Tithwal to Pakistan with the deal.
Shashtri was shocked to hear it. He Kept walking rounds in his room thinking deeply over something. Lal Bahadur Shastri then called up his secretary and asked him to know and tell about the reaction in India over the deal. His secretary Venkatraman told him that two statements from Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Krishna Menon criticized the decision of Shastri.
There is always a question raised over the situation that was his death natural or it was a planned murder? Lal Bahadur Shashtri was seen Walking in his room looking stressed. Even the Congress government at that time did not conduct a postmortem of his body. If a postmortem would have been done in India, then the real cause behind the death would have been clear with evidence. Also, if there was any conspiracy on the foreign soil then it would have been revealed.
The absence of a conclusive post-mortem report of Lal Bahadur Shashtri’s body after his sudden death has raised several eyebrows over the years. Shastri died a few hours after signing a post-war peace deal with Pakistan and the absence of a post mortem has also raised questions on the oldest political party of India.