When someone says ‘October 2,’ the first thing that comes in the mind is Gandhi Jayanti and many forget about the birth anniversary of one of the prominent politicians Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime minister of India. 

Shastri Ji was born in 1904 to Sharada Prasad Srivastava and Ramdulari Devi in Mughalsarai. Shastri's thoughts were influenced by reading about Swami Vivekananda, Gandhi and Annie Besant. Deeply impressed and influenced by Gandhi, he joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. 

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Shastri entered politics at a young age as a satyagrahi in the Indian National Movement under the guidance of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and later succeeded him as the Prime Minister of India in 1964. 

On his 117th birth anniversary here are some quotations, wishes and lesser-known facts coined by the Shastri Ji:

Lal Bahadur Shastri birth anniversary: Quotes

  • “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan (Hail to the soldier; Hail to the farmer)”.
  • “We want freedom of our country, but not at the expenses or exploitation of others, not us to degrade other countries.”
  • “I want the freedom of my country so that other countries may learn something from my free country. So that the resources of my country might be utilized for the benefit of mankind.”
  • “The democracy or the swaraj of the masses can never come through untruthful and violent means.”
  • “It is most regrettable that nuclear energy is being harnessed today for making nuclear weapons.”
  • “My patriotism is subservient to my religion. I cling to India like a child to its mother's breast, because I feel that she gives me the spiritual nourishment I need. She has the environment that responds to my highest aspiration.”
  • “We must fight for peace bravely as we fought in the war.”

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Lal Bahadur Shastri birth anniversary: Lesser known facts

  • At the age of 12, Lal Bahadur Shastri opposed the deeply ingrained caste system in India.
  • At 16, Lal Bahadur Shastri at once responded to Mahatma Gandhi's call and joined him in the Non-Cooperative Movement. 
  • In 1917, he dropped his surname ‘Shrivastava’ and after he completed graduation, he was given the title ‘Shastri’, meaning scholar.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri promoted the White Revolution, a countrywide campaign to increase milk production. He created the National Dairy Development Board. 
  • To boost India's food production, Lal Bahadur Shastri promoted the Green Revolution in India in 1965, which led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • During the 1965 war, he coined the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ slogan to boost the morale of the soldiers as well as farmers. 
  • He once took a loan of Rs 5,000 from Punjab National Bank with a promise to repay every penny. Later, the loan was repaid by his widow wife Lalita Shastri. 
  • He died in Tashkent on January 11, 1966. His tenure as the Prime Minister was only for 19 months.

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