Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Lal Bhahadur Shastri

In the history of Indian politics which is dominated by dynasty, corruption, wealth & raw power, one figure with ethics, integrity, simplicity & austerity stood out as an odd man, like an oasis within a desert. He was Lal Bahadur Shastri.

While he was jailed under the British, he was informed that his daughter was sick. He requested for 15 days to visit her and was granted under the condition that he must not participate in freedom struggle in those 15 days. Unfortunately, by the time he reached his home, his daughter had died. After performing the funeral & last rites for 3 days, he immediately returned to jail inspite of having 12 more days of freedom from jail!!

Similarly, in another event, while in jail, he was informed of his son’s serious sickness and this time he got a permission of 7 days of leave from jail. He stayed with his son all the 7 days and although his son had still not recovered, Shastri went back to jail to keep up with his words!! (Fortunately, his son survived) 


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October 2nd. Whose birthday is it? Yeah correct. Also, it is Shastri's birthday on same day and most of us dont even know it, let alone celebrate.
If you combine dedication, ethics, honesty, integrity, responsibility, & austerity, you get Shastri.
 He is popularly called "The politician who made no money". He was born in a poor family, he lived his life in simplicity and austerity. And he died as a poor man. He really knew what austerity meant.

These are the kind of leaders we need today who can demonstrate what real austerity means. Not by someone who boards a train for the first time in his life at the age of 38, and spends a night in huts to prove that he is asture. We need austerity lessons from people who have really experienced poverty so that they understand what real poverty means.  

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