New Delhi: Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second Prime Minister, was one of the country’s most exemplary leaders. On succeeding Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, he strategically guided the nation successfully through the Indo-Pakistan War in 1965. He understood the role of self-sufficiency for building a strong nation, introducing the “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (Hail the soldier, hail the farmer) slogan. Popularly known as a man of peace, Shastri was a part of India’s freedom movement from his youth, gaining insights from the likes of Mahatama Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Dr Rajendra Prasad. Shastri died on 11 January, 1966 in Tashkent in Soviet Russia.
On his 53rd death anniversary today, we look at 10 quotes that define his legacy:
- We believe in freedom, freedom for the people of each country to follow their destiny without external interference.
- There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go.
- It is most regrettable that nuclear energy is being harnessed for making nuclear weapons.
- We believe in peace in the settlement of all disputes through peaceful means, in the abolition of war, and, more particularly, nuclear war.
- We have now to fight for peace with the same courage and determination as we fought against aggression.
- We cannot afford to spend millions and millions over nuclear arms when there is poverty and unemployment all around us.
- We can win respect in the world only if we are strong internally and can banish poverty and unemployment from our country.
- No doubt we have to have bigger projects, bigger industries, basic industries, but it is a matter of the highest importance that we look to the common man, the weakest element in the society.
- That loyalty to the country comes ahead of all other loyalties. And this is an absolute loyalty, since one cannot weight it in terms of what one receives.
- Discipline and united action are the real source of strength for the nation.