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Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri (October 2, 1904 - January 11, 1966) was the second Prime Minister of independent India and a significant figure in the struggle for independence.

Lal Bahadur was born in Moghalsarai. He abandoned his studies to take part in the non-cooperation movement of Gandhi in 1921. He was given the title Shastri at Kashi Vidya Peetha in 1926. He spent almost nine years in jail in total, mostly after the start of the Satyagraha movement in 1940, he was imprisoned until 1946.

Following independence he was Minister of Police in the ministry of Govind Vallabh Pant[?]. In 1951 he was appointed General Secretary of the Lok Sabha before re-gaining a ministerial post as Railways Minister. He resigned as minister following a rail disaster near Ariyalur. He returned to the Cabinet following the General Elections, first as Minister for Transport, in 1961 he became Home Minister.

Jawaharlal Nehru died in office on May 27, 1964 and left something of a vacuum. The major figures of the Congress Party were unable to find enough support which allowed the lesser regarded Shastri to come through as the compromise candidate, becming Prime Minister on June 9.

The chief problem was Pakistan, fighting along the Rann of Kutch[?] was ended under a UN ceasefire for the conflict to re-emerge in Jammu[?] and Kashmir. The second Indo-Pakistan war began and the Indian forces reached Lahore before an ceasefire was agreed.

In January 1966 Shastri and Muhammad Ayub Khan[?] attended a summit in Tashkent, organised by Kosygin[?]. Shastri signed a treaty with Pakistan on January 10, the Tashkent Declaration[?], but the next day he was dead of a heart attack.

He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna and a memorial was built for him in Delhi. The slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan is attributed to Shastri.



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