20 October, 2020

A Man Worthy Of His Cap

Lal Bahadur Shastri led a principled life in politics based on decency and inclusivity. Yet his legacy lies largely ignored. This book aims to correct that.

A Man Worthy Of His Cap

In the final weeks of 2019, as protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act swept India, I found myself wondering how Lal Bahadur Shastri would have managed the situation. Would it have been a muscular, combative, shape-shifting ­response or would it have been considered, inclusive and hum­ane, geared towards reconciling differing perspectives? Chances are it would have been the latter. Sandeep Shastri’s Lal Bahadur Shastri: Politics and Beyond quotes India’s second prime minister as saying: “I can carry everyone along with me. That is much better… This app­roach may delay decisions a little, but that does not bother me at all. It is a price worth paying.”

An attempt to assess Shastri’s career and legacy, the book is fue­lled by the conviction that Shastri has not received his due. And that it is a disservice to India if leaders like him are not given their rightful place in the national narrative. Sandeep possibly has a point when he declares that Shastri, unlike some of his contemporaries, does not capture...



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