Lal Bahadur Shastri, 1964–1966: Leader at a glance
journal contributionposted on 05.05.2020 by Rakesh Ankit
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Lal Bahadur Shastri has been recently recalled as ‘the original accidental Prime Minister’ and ‘architect of India’s real surgical strike’. His sudden death has lately been the subject of a film, The Tashkent Files (2019) and a book, Your Prime Minister is Dead (2018). A memorial to him is the Government of India’s National Academy of Administration, named after him since 1972. And yet, there is less written on him directly, as against approaching him indirectly as (a) Jawaharlal Nehru’s successor, (b) leader during the 1965 India-Pakistan war amidst a food crisis and (c) peacemaker of the 1966 Tashkent agreement. This article tries to reconstruct, from some of his papers, a slice of Shastri’s political life that has either fallen through the crack between the larger preceding period of the Nehruvian 1950s and the larger succeeding period of Indira’s India or is resurrected in a reactionary, outsized opposition to these.
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- Social Sciences
- Politics and International Studies