2nd October Is A Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti

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 On the 2nd of October, we celebrate the birthdays of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The day is mostly known as Gandhi Jayanti only, but why is it?

 

 October 2nd is a very special and important date in India. It is the birthday of two very important personalities in India who changed the course of modern Indian history and politics. Every Indian can guess by their names that they are Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

In honour of our greatest political leader of the time, our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the 2nd of October is declared Gandhi Jayanti. It is a  national holiday throughout India. This day was marked by the United Nations in 2007 as International Non-Violence Day in honor of the great Mahatma, the freedom fighter, the man who won us freedom through non-violent methods.

On the other hand, the personality who shares his birthday with the Mahatma, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was the second Prime Minister of independent India. But not many people remember his birthday. But in actuality, it is not just Gandhi Jayanti, it could be Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti.

Why not Gandhi Shastri Jayanti?

There is no political agenda behind this, it is to recognise the efforts of the so-proclaimed “Father Of The Nation”. The thing is that Gandhi Ji is the most prominent figure that India has produced since Buddha, so if it is thought that Shastri Ji can compete with him, then it is not obvious. The great leader, Shastri Ji, was also an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He was deeply impressed and influenced by Bapu Gandhi Ji. 

The second thing is that Gandhi Jayanti was named when Shastri was alive. If he had died before the name of the day, then it would probably have been Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti.

Thirdly, if we go by Gandhian ideology. Then we should not celebrate it because he never wanted that. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is not about individuals. It is about continuing to remember and follow his thoughts and ideologies. One may agree with Gandhi Ji or not, but one can not ignore him. 

Why do people mostly forget Shastri Ji’s birth anniversary?

The main reason is the lack of general awareness amongst the people.

Some Famous Facts Lal Bahadur Shastri

  • The famous slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, hailing the soldiers and the farmers was given by Lal Bahadur Shastri.
  • Under his direction, India’s White Revolution got off the ground.
  • The victory over Pakistan in the 1965 Indo-Pak war was one of his political career’s pinnacles.
  • Due to his strong opposition to the caste system, he stopped using his family name, Shrivastav, when he was 12 years old.

How Shastri was a unique and respectful Prime Minister of the country- Some hidden facts about Shastri Ji.

He was a simple living person, even after becoming Prime Minister. He never lived a luxurious life. 

Shastriji owned only three shirts (kurtas): two for everyday wear on alternate days and one extra for special occasions. He claimed he didn’t deserve this luxury because his fellow countrymen couldn’t even afford two shirts and that he was comfortable wearing the torn one.

He reduced his own salary and, in order to cut costs, asked his maid, washerman, teachers who had previously taught their children, and servants to stay away because he could not afford to pay their wages. He then began performing all of their duties on his own.

When Shastriji passed away, he had just acquired a four-wheeler with the aid of a bank loan. There was only one installment paid. Due to their inability to cover the remaining balance after his passing, his family turned in the car. It is unfathomable that a prime minister would borrow money to purchase a car and that his family would then give up the car because they couldn’t afford the payments.

Inadequate food supplies in India and unrest along India’s western border were the two biggest obstacles he had to overcome. He and his wife stopped eating on Mondays because the food supply could not be increased overnight. He also asked Indian citizens to fast one day a week to conserve food grains. The elderly still observe Monday as a fasting day; they refer to it as “Shastri Somwar.”

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Harshika Yadav
Harshika Yadav
A trainee journalist and an English Journalism alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.

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