Lal Bahadur Shastri Biography

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of free India and was also a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress. This biography offers detailed information on his childhood, political career, achievements, life and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 2, 1904

Nationality: Indian

Famous: Quotes By Lal Bahadur Shastri Prime Ministers

Died At Age: 61

Sun Sign: Libra

Born in: Ramnagar, Varanasi, United Provinces, British Raj

Famous as: Former Prime Minister of India

political ideology: Socialist


Spouse/Ex-: Lalita Devi

father: Sharada Prasad Srivastava

mother: Ramdulari Devi

children: Anil, Hari Krishna, Kusum, Suman, Sunil and Ashok

Died on: January 11, 1966

place of death: Tashkent, Soviet Union (now in Uzbekistan)

Ideology: Socialists

City: Varanasi, India

More Facts

awards: Bharat Ratna

Continue Reading Below

Lal Bahadur Shastri was an Indian political leader who served as the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India. Influenced by prominent Indian national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, he plunged into the Indian independence movement in early 1920s. Before becoming the Prime Minister of India, he served in a number of other departments like the railway ministry and the home ministry. With his policies of non alignment and socialism and influences of Nehruvian socialism in his political thinking, Shastri became one of the most loved political leaders of all times. He coined the famous slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. His death is still considered as a mystery for nobody knows under what circumstances he died. He died while he was in the process of signing the Tashkent Agreement on 10 January 1966 - the formal declaration of the end of Indo-Pak war. He is the only Indian Prime Minister to have died in office overseas. He was the first person to be posthumously awarded the India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Childhood & Early Life
  • Shastri was born in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to Sharada Prasad and Ramdulari Devi. His father was a clerk in the Revenue Office of Allahbad but died when Shastri was only a year old. He was raised along with his two sisters by his mother.
  • He studied at the East Central Railway Inter College in Varanasi and later graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926. Soon after, he joined the Servants of the People Society which was founded by a prominent nationalist leader of that time - Lala Lajpath Rai.
    Continue Reading Below
  • Shastri became a part of Indian independence movement in 1920s and was driven by the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined Gandhi’s famous Salt Satyagraha in 1930, for which he was sent to the prison for two and a half years.
  • That did not deter him from working as the Organizing Secretary of the Parliamentary Board of U.P. in 1937. He was again sent to prison for a year for being a part of the nationalist Satyagraha movement.
  • He was again imprisoned in 1942 for joining Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement and instructing freedom fighters from Jawaharlal Nehru’s house. He was imprisoned this time for 4 years.
  • In 1947, Shastri was appointed as the Police and Transport minister of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He was made the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee in 1951. Later next year, he was elected to Rajya Sabha and was made the Minister of Railways and Transport.
  • Although the Railways and Transport of India flourished under him but he resigned from the post in 1952, taking responsibility for a railway accident in Tamil Nadu in which approximately 112 people died.
  • In 1957, he was again elected to the cabinet as the Commerce and Industry minister and within 4 years he was chosen for the prestigious post of Home Minister.
  • When Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, died in office in 1964, the Congress Party President K. Kamaraj put Shastri’s name forward for the post of the Prime Minister. He was elected the Prime Minister of India the same year.
  • Under his tenure as the Prime Minister, Shastri lead the country during India-Pakistan war in 1965 and it was during this war that he coined the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kishan”. It soon began the national slogan.
    Continue Reading Below
  • After the ceasefire with Pakistan was declared in 1965, he attended a summit in Tashkent with the Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan. Later next year, both the leaders signed the Tashkent Declaration.
Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Major Works
  • Shastri dealt with many basic problems during his tenure in various ministries - food shortage, unemployment and poverty. To overcome the acute food shortage, he devised a long-term strategy - "Green Revolution". Apart from the Green Revolution, he also helped in promoting the White Revolution.
Awards & Achievements
  • Shastri was the first person to be posthumously awarded India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Shastri married Lalita Devi from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh in 1928. He had six children with her—Kusum, Hari Krishna, Suman, Anil, Sunil and Ashok. The family lost Ashok when he was only 37 years old.
  • He died in Tashkent in 1966, the day after signing the Tashkent Declaration, reportedly due to a heart attack, but his death remains a mystery.
  • The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during Shastri reign as Prime Minister.
  • Varanasi International Airport is named after him.

See the events in life of Lal Bahadur Shastri in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- September 26, 2017
Lal Bahadur Shastri

People Also Viewed

Narendra Modi
Priyanka Gandhi
Maneka Gandhi
Ram Nath Kovind

Feroze Gandhi
Manmohan Singh
Sonia Gandhi
(Indian, Italian)
Arvind Kejriwal