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Mahatma Gandhi & Lal Bahadur Shastri

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Mahatma Gandhi & Lal Bahadur Shastri

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Born: 2 October 1869

Died: 30 January 1948

  • He was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule.
  • Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
  • The honorific Mahatma is now used worldwide. In India, he is also called Bapu and Gandhi ji, and known as the Father of the Nation.
  • Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights.
  • Gandhi led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942.
  • 11 September 1906, Gandhi adopted his still evolving methodology of Satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or nonviolent protest, for the first time.
  • Using non-co-operation as a technique, Gandhi initiated a signature campaign where peasants pledged non-payment of revenue even under the threat of confiscation of land.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948, but he was assassinated before it was conferred to him. In response to this, the Nobel Committee decided not to award the Peace Prize for that year.
    In 1999, Gandhi was declared the runner-up for Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Century’ title (which eventually went to Albert Einstein.)

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Lal Bhadur Shastri

Born: 2 October 1904

Died: 11 January 1966

  • Her was the 2nd Prime Minister of India and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress political party.
  • He became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Following independence in 1947, he joined the latter’s government and became one of Prime Minister Nehru’s principal, first as Railways Minister (1951–56), and then in a variety of other functions, including Home Minister.
  • He led the country during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) became very popular during the war
  • He was the father of the Green and White Revolution in the country.
  • He was given the title Shastri (“scholar”). The title was a bachelor’s degree awarded by the Vidyapith, but it stuck as part of his name.
  • The day that India became a republic i.e 15th August 1947, he was appointed as the Minister of Police and Transport. He was the first leader to make a provision for women conductors and drivers in public transport.
  • When he was the PM of India, the country was facing acute food shortage. To solve this nation-wide issue, he urged the general public to skip one meal each week. Many eateries across the country then shut shop every Monday evening and this came to be known as ‘Shastri Vrat’.

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Megha Vijay
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