As the nation remembers second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birth anniversary, we look at some of the interesting facts of the man of a great courage and will.
Andre Malraux (L), French novelist, adventurer, art historian and minister for cultural affairs for 11 years (in 1958-69), confers 09 August 1965 in New Delhi with India's Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Pic/AFP
>> Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to Sharada Prasad and Ramdulari Devi. His father Sharda Prasad was a clerk in the Revenue Office of Allahbad but died due to bubonic plague when Shastri was only a year old. He was raised along with his two sisters by his mother.
>> Shastri's birth name was Lal Bahadur Srivastava. In 1917, aged 12, he decided to drop his caste-derived surname of 'Srivastava'.
>> He studied at the East Central Railway Inter College in Varanasi and later graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1926 where he was given the title of Shashtri (scholar).
>> Shastri married Lalita Devi from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh in 1928. He had six children with her—Kusum, Hari Krishna, Suman, Anil, Sunil and Ashok.
>> Lal Bahadur Shastri was elected the Prime Minister of India in 1964. 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.
>> 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.
>> The National Dairy Development Board was formed in 1965 during Shastri reign as Prime Minister.
>> Varanasi International Airport is named after him.
>> Prime Minister Shastri died in Tashkent, on the day after signing the Tashkent Declaration, reportedly due to a heart attack. However, his death was surrounded by controversies where people allege conspiracy. He was the first Prime Minister of India to die overseas. He was eulogised as a national hero and the Vijay Ghat memorial was established in his memory.
>> Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be posthumously awarded India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.