Speech on Lal Bahadur Shastri

Many educational institutions often ask their students to talk about one or more eminent personalities, especially on the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations. Lal Bahadur Shastri is one such personality who has been respected for his role in the freedom struggle.  This article on Lal Bahadur Shastri will include some important facts and key points that you can use to prepare a speech.

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Early Years of Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri, the former Prime Minister of India, was born in the year 1904 on the second of October. He was born to Ramdulari Devi and Sharada Prasad Srivastava. He was the second child and the only son among the two other children. Shastriji’s father died from the bubonic plague when he was one year old. His mother, who was expecting her third child, took Lal Bahadur Shastri and his elder sister, Kailashi Devi, to their grandparents’ house in Mughalsarai, where Shastriji was born.

At the age of four, Shastriji started his education at East Central Railway Inter college in Mughalsarai under the mentorship of Budan Mian and studied there till Class 6. Later, when the family moved to Varanasi, Lal Bahadur Shastri joined Harish Chandra High School.

Impact of Gandhi’s Teachings on Lal Bahadur Shastri

Though Lal Bahadur Shastri’s family had no connection with politics, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and sense of patriotism played a massive role in shaping Shastriji’s political ideology. While studying in Harish Chandra High School, Shastriji came across Nishkameshwar Prasad Mishra, who was not only a teacher but an immensely patriotic person. Mr. Mishra had helped Shastriji when they were facing a financial crisis. His respected teacher’s patriotism pushed Lal Bahadur Shastri to take an interest in politics.

While knowing and studying politics, the struggles and ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, and Anne Besant inspired Lal Bahadur Shastri. In January 1921, when Shastriji was in class 10, he got the opportunity to attend a meeting hosted by Madan Mohan Malaviya and Mahatma Gandhi in Benaras. The meeting was a call for students to join the Non-Cooperation Movement. Inspired by the speech, Lal Bahadur Shastri dropped out of school and soon joined as a volunteer in the local branch of the Congress Party. He was arrested by the police for participating in anti-government processions and picketing but later released as he was a minor. Such was the impact of Gandhi’s ideologies on Lal Bahadur Shastri.

During Shastriji’s volunteer work at the local branch of the Congress Party, Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani (J.B. Kripalani) was his supervisor. Later, when J.B Kripalani, along with V.N Sharma and Shiv Prasad Gupta founded a school named Kashi Vidyapith (inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi himself for the young nationalists), Lal Bahadur Shastri was one among the first few students.

Later in 1925, Shastriji graduated with first class in ethics and philosophy. This was when the institution awarded him the title ‘Shastri’ (which means scholar) that he added as a part of his surname for the rest of his life. After graduation, Shastriji joined an organisation founded by Lala Lajpat Rai known as Servants of the People Society and later became the president of the organisation.

Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Career in Politics

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of independent India, but before becoming the Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri served both as State Minister and Cabinet Minister. He served as Minister of Police and Transport and introduced changes like the appointment of first women bus conductors and the use of water jets by police instead of lathis. It was during this period that he succeeded in suppressing communal riots of 1947 and solved issues on resettling refugees and mass migration.

Shastriji was appointed as the General Secretary (GS) of AICC (All India Congress Committee) in the year 1951. Impressed by this dedication and contribution towards the party and winning the elections, Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of independent India, decided to make Lal Bahadur Shastri the Cabinet Minister. On 13th May 1952, Shastriji was made the Minister of Railways in the first cabinet of independent India. Later on, in 1959, he became the Minister of Commerce and Industry and in 1961 the Minister of Home Affairs.

Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Works during His Reign as Prime Minister of India

After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri took office as the Prime Minister. During his reign, he promoted the White Revolution as well as the Green Revolution and made it successful. It was also during this period that India was attacked by Pakistan in the year 1965. There was also an acute shortage of food grains across the country around this time. To boost the morale of both soldiers as well as farmers, Shastriji addressed a public gathering in Delhi Lal Maidan where he gave out the famous slogan ‘Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!’. This particular slogan reverberated far and wide and helped in pushing the country towards the Green Revolution. The Indo-Pak war ended in the year 1965 on 23rd September with a UN-mandated ceasefire.

Death of Lal Bahadur Shastri

On 11th January, 1966, India lost a great, devoted and brave man. He was indeed the great son of Mother India, whom we all look up to even today!


Frequently Asked Questions on Lal Bahadur Shastri Speech


Who was Lal Bahadur Shastri?

Shastriji was the second Prime Minister of independent India, after the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru.


When and where was he born?

Shastriji was born in the year 1904 on 2nd October at his maternal grandparents’ house in Mughalsarai.


What was the famous slogan given by Lal Bahadur Shastri?

‘Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!’ was the famous slogan given by Lal Bahadur Shastri.


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