Lal Bahadur Shastri!!
Every time this name is remembered, we tend to wish that he ruled this country longer!
Our country was ruled by …
Mughals for 331 years;
British for 190 years;
Congress 55 years;
Nehru 17 years;
Indira Gandhi 16 years;
Manamohan Singh 10 years;
Lal Bahadur Shastri ruled the country only for 17 months!! But every Indian with intelligence remembers those 17 months! Reason is, in the last century India has not seen a rule as superior as it has seen in that short period!!
If God were to speak to man he would say:
“It is not how long you lived that matters; it is how you lived that matters.”
If God were to speak to a ruled he would say:
“It is not how long you ruled that matters; it is how you ruled that matters!”
Lal Bahadur Shastri lived and ruled as though to please God!
Shastri’s rule was “shastriy “ (traditional way) rule! Master Poet Kalidasa has explained the requirements of a ruler on following words:
स्वसुखनिरभिलाष: खिद्यसे लोकहेतो:
प्रतिदिनमथवा ते वृत्तिरेवंविधैव।
अनुभवति हि मूर्ध्ना पादपस्तीव्रमुष्णं
शमयति परितापं छायया संश्रितानाम्।।
– (अभिज्झानशाकुंतल, अध्याय ५, श्लोक ७)
A ruler must live like a tree:
A tree which opens up its branches to the scorching sun provides shelter to those who come seeking it! “Let all difficulties be mine, let all pleasures be to the people” – who has this in his mind, nay, in his blood; he is a ruler in true sense of the word!
Whole country must be blessed to get a ruler like that! Independent India had the blessing only for a period of seventeen months!
One who gives lesser stress to the self is a saint.
- Shastriji, who offered his money to the motherland instead of buying a dhoti to replace the worn out cloth, is no less to any saint!
When we remember that in his choice of clothes our earlier Prime Minister had a liking for the west, Shastri looks the best!
- We had many “Hopeless Home Ministers” in our country, but there was only one “Homeless Home Minister” and that was Lal Bahadur Shastri!
- All poor children of our country can be given free education with the money which our ‘leaders’ are spending to educate their own children! Shastriji stopped tuition to his children and offered the money to the nation!
When the teacher warned Shastriji “ your children will fail in English” reply given by Shastriji was an eye opener for the entire nation! He said, “It is okay, English is not our language; if English people write Hindi exams they too will fail!”
- He looked after the house chores and cared for the lady of the house, the salary which would have been paid to the maid was sacrificed for the nation! Country was Shastriji’s true home!
Irony is, his selfless attitude was a pawn in the hands of the selfish and the conspirators; his tenure at office as well as his tenure on earth was shortened!
- Having brought Congress to power in three general elections, the post of Prime Minister was his for the asking! If that had happened, the country would have benefited!
- Had he given a little attention to the safety of the self, he wouldn’t have to return dead from Tashkent, had he remained the Prime Minister little longer, the country too would not have to live a life resembling the dead!
October 2 is a phenomenon ; Gandhiji and Shastriji – two greats were born on this day!
Gadhiji’s death is great; unless each breath contains Raam, unless Raam lived inside throughout someone’s life, he cannot get a death chanting “Hey Raam!”
Shastriji’s life was great; his every breath contained nation’s name, and he died for the nation!
“Strength of a person is not in his muscles, it is in his principles!” – Shastriji was and continues be a living example for this statement. Those who underestimated his short and lean persona had to change their perception when he strode like a champion after destroying Pakistan!
America threatened, “If you don’t stop your war against Pakistan we will stop supplying wheat to you!” Shastri shot back, “It is better to die with self respect than live eating your substandard wheat!”
Leaders like Lal Bahadur Shastri, who teach that a courageous death is honorable than a cowardly life can inspire a nation! That is the reason why entire nation responded when Shastriji gave a call for fasting on every Monday to support the war; fasting became a festival!
Reach of this inspiration is from the Indo-Pakistan war to war-like famine in Male Mahadeshwara! When near 70,000 cows were cruising to calamitous death SriMatha gave a call to people to fast every Monday and donate the savings for #GouPranaBhiksha . This was rebirth of Shastriji!
Opposition parties are ornaments in democracy! But when the attitude is ‘whatever government does is bad’ strengthens, democracy gets reduced to “fight everywhere, fight for everything”! This is today’s democracy. It was not so when Lal Bahadur Shastri was Prime Minister, there was hardly anyone who did not accept him! He commanded respect from everyone from every caste, creed, religion, region and political party!
But there were invisible enemies; there were people who could not digest his success; there were people who eyed his seat! That was the reason why initially he did not get what he deserved; and when he got it, it was short-lived!
His death: Unbearable and unbelievable for the countrymen!
The greatest injustice to our nation was his death when animosity had flared up to its peak between countries, at odd hours, in an alien country, under mysterious circumstances, in an unbelievable manner! Was India’s best Prime minister killed by the enemies from within and outside as a part of a larger conspiracy is a question lingering in the minds of the people of this country.
If not ……..
- Did Shastriji who defeated Pakistan; who did not bow to the pressure tactics of America; who had the mighty heart to decimate President Ayub Khan in conciliatory talks even on the day of his death, had a heart attack all of a sudden on the same night?
- According to Shastriji’s doctors he had no heart complaints earlier, then what transpired that day?
- Does the body turn blue after heart attack?
- What do the incisions on his body and stomach indicate?
- Why no postmortem was conducted on the body of the Prime Minister, though his death looked suspicious?
- Though repeated attempts were made to get the details under RTI, why no proper explanations are given?
- What prevented performing of last rites at the same venue where last rites of Gandhiji and Nehru were conducted?
- Why permission for last rites was denied in Delhi and sought to be shifted to Allahabad in insulting manner?
- Why permission to perform last rites in Delhi was granted only after Smt. Lalita Devi, wife of Shastriji, threatened to go on strike and disclose complete truth before public? Is this the way to honor to the tallest leader the country has ever seen?
- Why was the slogan coined by him, ‘ Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ was not allowed to be inscribed on his epitaph?
- Even a vice man is called a virtuous man after his death! Why no eulogy to Shastriji even after his death when he was a very virtuous and pious man and was neglected by his own party?
- Shastriji belongs to hundred crore Indians. Don’t we have the right to ask how did he die?! Don’t the governments which subsequently came to power have the responsibility to answer?
Last question which has to be directed to fate!
Why did you usurp the deity who came as a blessing to the nation and whom the country need for some more time, lot more time at an inopportune moment? Why such a cruelty on the dear of millions of this country when never thought ill of anybody and never committed any wrong?
A line of consolation at the end:
After a long time, a promising leader has dawned on the horizon of India in the form of Sri. Narendra Modi. There is discernible imprint of Late Lal Bahadur Shastriji in Sri. Narendra Modi. May God bless Sri. Narendra Modi with the capabilities, good intentions of Shastriji along with a long life which Shastriji didn’t have and provide him the privileged opportunity of raising the nation to heavenly heights…
Translation of SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji’s Loka~Lekha Kannada blog.