Remembering Shastriji

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On the Occasion of Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti, a short excerpt from the book: Beyond the Lines: An Autobiography(by Kuldip Nayar).

Shastri who like Nehru belonged to Prayag,was conscious that he was way down in social ladder in the comparison with Nehru Family.After All, Motilal Nehru, was an iconic figure and a dashing social figure while Shastri was a struggling lower-middle class individual. Nehru depended a great deal on Shastri who literally worshipped him. He was circumspect when dealing with the Nehru dynasty: Nehru’s two sisters Vijayalaxmi Pandit and Krishna Hatheesingh and daughter, Indira Gandhi.
As Commerce Minister, Shastri had allowed a Car presented to Krishna Hatheesingh in West Germany to be brought in to India without her paying the customs duty. As Home minister he was startled when he received a copy of a letter Vijayalakshmi Pandit(the then Governer of Maharashtra) had written to Nehru that the Raj Bhawans was being used a dak bungalows by central ministers. From then onward, Shastri and his staff would stay at airport even at night, with all the attendant discomforts, but never at any Raj Bhavan.
This shows his nature of putting up self-respect above comfort.

-Shashank Shekhar, Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan

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