“Lal Bahadur Shastri – The Epitome of Moral Responsibility.”   2 comments

OCTOBER 1964 – When President Ayub Khan of Pakistan first saw Lal Bahadur Shastri en route to the Commonwealth Prime ministers’ meeting in London, he stares in disbelief apparently unimpressed by the diminutive frame and the attire of Shastri. This was followed by jibes about his credentials and his worth as Nehru’s successor. Not even in his wildest dreams would have Khan imagined that Shastri would , after six months, send Indian troops straight into Lahore in response to the infiltration into Kashmir under the aegis of Khan. Lesson – “Appearances are deceptive.”

MAY – DECEMBER 1956 –  Long before the above incident, Shastri was the minister in charge of Railways and Transport in Nehru’s Cabinet. He identified himself so much with the department that he held himself responsible for anything which went wrong with the Railways.In September, an accident in Mahbubnagar resulting in the death of 112 people saw him offering resignation to Nehru. Nehru rejected it outright. However Nehru had to accept his resignation when another accident , after 3 months, occurred in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu resulting in 144 deaths. The interesting part was the speech by Nehru in Parliament on the incident. Nehru said Shastri was in no way responsible for the accident but accepted the resignation because it would SET AN EXAMPLE IN CONSTITUTIONAL PROPRIETY. So strong was Lal Bahadur Shastri’s MORAL RESPONSIBILITY.  Today’s politicians are too ordinary to be compared with him. So, I refrain. Nevertheless, the above can be emulated in any walk of life.

His untimely demise in 1966 saw the end of his ephemeral stint as the second Prime minister of India. Unfortunately, this midget gem, a visionary, departed when his country needed him the most.  In his book PATRIOTS and PARTISANS, Ramachandra Guha deals with a scenario –  “WHAT IF LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI WOULD NOT HAVE DIED EARLY ? which is worth imagining owing to the current state of the nation. It would be appropriate to listen to the author himself………

Be all ears to the -HAD SHASTRI BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS ON EARTH- part in the video !!! We can only yearn !!


2 responses to ““Lal Bahadur Shastri – The Epitome of Moral Responsibility.”

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  1. He was a politician of a different breed

    Liked by 1 person

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