Lai Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of India. A true patriot and a great leader, he dedicated his life to the service of his country and her people.

Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 in a poor family at Mughal Sarai in Benaras District. His father was a school teacher. He graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth.

He took part in politics at an early age. He was a true follower of Gandhiji. He took an active role in India’s struggle for freedom and went to jail eight times.

In 1952, he became the General Secretary of the Congress. Next year, he was made Minister of Transport and Railways. In 1961, he became Minister of Home Affairs.

After Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastri was elected the Prime Min­ister. Under his leadership, our country gave a crushing defeat to Pakistan in 1965. He won the applause of his countrymen for his firm resis­tance to aggression.

He was peace-loving by nature. After signing, the Tashkent Decla­ration, he died of a sudden heart attack on January 11,1966 at Tashkent It was he who gave us the popular slogan, “Jai Jawan; Jai Kisan”.