Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904, to Ramdulari Devi and Sharada Prasad Shrivastava, in Moghalsarai, United Province (Uttar Pradesh). He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Lal Bahadur was against the prevailing caste system and therefore decided to drop his surname. The title Shastri was given after the completion of his graduation at Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi in 1925. The title Shastri refers to a scholar or a person, adept in the Holy Scriptures.His father Sharada Prasad, a schoolteacher by profession, passed away when Lal Bahadur was barely two years old. His mother Ramdulari Devi took him and his two sisters to their maternal grandfather Hazari Lals house. Lal Bahadur acquired virtues like boldness, love of adventure, patience, self control, courtesy, and selflessness in his childhood. After completing his primary education at Mirzapur, Lal Bahadur was sent to Varanasi, where he stayed with his maternal uncle.
Young Lal Bahadur, inspired with the stories and speeches of national leaders, developed a desire to participate in the Indian nationalist movement. He would also spend time by reading foreign authors like Marx, Russell and Lenin. In 1915, a speech of Mahatma Gandhi changed the course of his life and decided to jump into the fire of Indian freedom struggle.In order to participate actively in the freedom movement, Lal Bahadur neglected his studies. In 1921, during the non cooperation movement, called by Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur was arrested for demonstrating in defiance of the prohibitory order. Sine he was a minor then, the authority had to release him. In 1928, Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalita Devi, the youngest daughter of Ganesh Prasad. He was against the prevailing dowry system and so refused to accept dowry. However, on the repeated urging of his father in law, he agreed to accept only five yards of khadi (cotton, usually handspun) cloth as dowry.