Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan

As I was growing up in the early 80’s, along with the stories of late Lal Bahadhur Shastri ji, I grew up hearing his slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” which reverberates even today across India.

Shastri ji’s life is mysterious & covered and his unique contributions are isolated because of the Gandhi & the Nehru family. He never received the honor and credit deserved by him but our nation will remain forever beholden to his admirable skills & silent achievements.

When politics has become the family business to many politicians, Shastri ji and his family or even his office and political life remained obscured but his contributions are still discussed.

I heard a story told by an old fellow passenger while travelling to North India about the greatness and transparency of Shastri ji. I don’t know how far it is true but the principles of his life can be gauged by this story.

He used to earn some 30 Rs salary and give everything to his wife to manage, this was prior to his activeness in politics. One simple householder approached him for some financial help for his daughter’s marriage, Shastri ji told him to approach his wife because every monetary dealings were managed by his good wife. The man approached his wife and she instantly gave away Rs 300 which was almost everything she had in cash. The man thanked her profusely and thanked Shastri ji too. Shastri ji came home and asked his wife how she was able to manage the money? She nonchalantly said that their monthly expenses were only Rs 20 so she was saving Rs 10 per month.

Shastri ji nodded and the next day in his office asked for a change in his salary. The administrator was shocked to hear the change. Shastri ji wanted 20 Rs salary because he was taking an extra 10 Rs. Of course, one can imagine his wife could save something out of that too.

More than the story, the spirit of Shastri ji reflects his principles & morals. None of his family members are as big politicians like other politicians children. Shastri ji left behind an example for millions in decades to come by leading a life of truth in Politics.

Shastri ji does not have the fame like Gandhi ji but the true spirited Bharatiyas know the art of picking up the essence and especially the narratives are changing in the present world to give due credit where it is actually deserved.