Lal Bahadur Shastri

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Lal Bahadur Shastri (2 October 190411 January 1966) was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India.

Quotes[edit]

Lal Bahadur Shastri in Allahabad during inauguration of MNREC building.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri's slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, in 1965.


  • While I am a Hindu, Mir Mushtaq who is presiding over this meeting is a Muslim. Mr. Frank Anthony who has addressed you is a Christian. There are also Sikhs and Parsis here. The unique thing about our country is that we have Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and people of all other religions. We have temples and mosques, gurdwaras and churches. But we do not bring all this into politics. This is the difference between India and Pakistan. Whereas Pakistan proclaims herself to be an Islamic State and uses religion as a political factor, we Indians have the freedom to follow whatever religion we may choose, and worship in any way we please. So far as politics is concerned, each of us is as much an Indian as the other.
  • There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the cross-roads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all, and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.
  • True democracy or the swaraj of the masses can never come through untruthful and violent means, for the simple reason that the natural corollary to their use would be to remove all opposition through the suppression or extermination of the antagonists.
  • Judiciary in India holds a place of pride in the country and outside. At present, there is a tendency in our country to defy law and authority. If this were continued, it would be a bad day for India and would cut at the very roots of our nascent democracy. The rule of law should be respected so that the basic structure of our democracy is maintained and further strengthened.
    • About Democracy.
  • The economic issues are most vital for us and it is of the highest importance that we should fight our biggest enemies – Poverty, unemployment. Whether it is agriculture or industrial development, or for that matter, development in other fields, the basic fact remains – that it would serve the largest number of our people.
    • About Development.
  • We want freedom for our country, but not at the expense or exploitation of others, not us to degrade other countries…I want the freedom of my country so that other countries may learn something from my free country so that the resources of my country might be utilized for the benefit of mankind.
  • The preservation of freedom, is not the task of soldiers alone. The whole nation has to be strong. We all have to work in our respective spheres with the same dedication, the same zeal and the same determination which inspired and motivated the warrior on the battle front. And this has to be shown not by mere words, but by actual deeds.
    • About Freedom.
  • My patriotism is subservient to my religion. I cling to India like a child to its mother’s breast, because I feel that she gives me the spiritual nourishment I need. She has the environment that responds to my highest aspiration.
  • That loyalty to the country comes ahead of all other loyalties. And this is an absolute loyalty, since one cannot weight it in terms of what one receives.
    • About Patriotism.
  • The basic idea of governance, as I see it, is to hold the society together so that it can develop and march towards certain goals. The task of the Government is to facilitate this evolution, this progress. It must provide proper conditions and a proper climate for this purpose. While governing, the administrator must, therefore, keep certain trends in view. He should be aware of the policies which he has to implement and of the methods which are open to him for their implementation. He should know what the Government wants and at the same time be attuned to the needs of the people.
  • Those who govern must see how the people react to administration. Ultimately, the people are the final arbiters.
    • About Governance.
  • Science and technology, if they are to play their proper role in the progress of our country, must be intimately linked to the life and work of the common man in the country. Science must not, therefore, be confined to ivory towers or encased within the walls of big buildings and big laboratories; it should be carried to the factories and more so to the fields and to the farms and to the remote villages.
  • Success in science and scientific work come not through the provision of unlimited or big resources, but in the wise and careful selection of problems and objectives. Above all, what is required is hard sustained work and dedication.
    • Science and Technology.
  • The emphasis on religion as a basis of defining majorities and minorities in a secular state is quite misplaced and contradiction in terms. You all understand, I am sure, that religion does not aim at dividing. On the other hand, all true religions have a basic unity.
  • If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has nothing to do with it. The State would look after secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody’s personal concern.
    • Religion.
  • The world as a whole is full of problems and difficulties and it is most important that every country which loves its Freedom and wants to maintain its Independence and sovereignty should work for peace and try to see that there is disarmament in the world which alone will lead to real peace.
  • We believe in peace and peaceful development, not only for ourselves but for people all over the world. Our main preoccupation is with economic and social development at home and peace and friendship abroad.
    • Peace.
  • In this vast country of ours, people profess different religions, speak different languages, dress differently and observe different customs; but we are one nation; the history of our struggle for independence and our faith in our future development are our common bonds.
  • Among the major tasks before us none is of greater importance for our strength and stability than the task of building up the unity and solidarity of our people. Our country has often stood as a solid rock in the face of common danger and there is a deep underlying unity which runs like a golden thread through all our seeming diversity.
    • National Integrity.
  • Sampling out corruption is a very tough job, but I say so in all seriousness that we would be failing in our duty if we do not tackle this problem seriously and with determination.
    • Corruption.
  • India will have to hang down her head in shame if even one person is left who is said in any way to be untouchable.
  • The claims of the most backward sections like the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who have suffered neglect and have hard to endure disabilities for many centuries. It would be my proud privilege to work for the establishment of a more just social order.
    • Untouchability.

External links[edit]

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