Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 18 – Q 3.Lal Bahadur Shastri is a shining example of value driven public life. Do you agree? What are some of the instances from his life that stand as the epitome of selfless and ethical public conduct? Discuss. cccc

3. Lal Bahadur Shastri is a shining example of value driven public life. Do you agree? What are some of the instances from his life that stand as the epitome of selfless and ethical public conduct? Discuss. 

लाल बहादुर शास्त्री मूल्य संचालित सार्वजनिक जीवन का एक चमकदार उदाहरण है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? उनके जीवन के कौन से ऐसे उदाहरण हैं जो निस्वार्थ और नैतिक सार्वजनिक आचरण के प्रतीक के रूप में खड़े हैं? चर्चा करें।


Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Indian freedom fighter who later on went on to become the second Prime Minister of Independent India after Jawaharlal Nehru and is remembered as a man of integrity and high ideals. 


  • Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 in Uttar Pradesh and had a humble beginning with drive towards contributing for the nation.
  • He is surely a shining example of value driven public life which is evident from his childhood where he gave up studies to participate in the Non-cooperation movement led by Gandhiji at the age of 16. It clearly showcased his dedication towards the nation over personal interests at such a young age.
  • Further, he was captivated by Mahatma Gandhi, who himself was an epitome of good conduct and values in public life. He was greatly impressed by Mahatma Gandhi’s denunciation of Indian Princes for their support of British rule in India. Lal Bahadur Sashtri was only eleven at the time, but the process that started that day ended up to catapult him to the national stage had already begun in his mind.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri threw himself into the struggle for freedom with feverish energy. He led many defiant campaigns and spent a total of seven years in British jails. It was in the fire of this struggle that his steel was tempered and he grew into maturity.
  • Post independence, he was called upon to play a constructive role in the governance of the country. It is here that India came to know about highly value driven public life, especially in executive functioning. He resigned his post as Minister for Railways because he felt responsible for a railway accident in which many lives were lost. The unprecedented gesture was greatly appreciated by Parliament and the country. The then Prime Minister, Pt. Nehru, speaking in Parliament on the incident, extolled Lal Bahadur Shastri’s integrity and high ideals.
  • He said he was accepting the resignation because it would set an example in constitutional propriety and not because Lal Bahadur Shastri was in any way responsible for what had happened.

This was the most shining example of selflessness and ethical public conduct that independent India had seen.

Furthermore, life of lal bahadur shastri provides multiple examples of selflessness and ethical public conduct as can be seen below:

  • In 1927, when he got married to his wife, Lalita Devi, who came from Mirzapur, near his home town, he tool just a spinning wheel and a few yards of handspun cloth as dowry. This was revolutionary in those days and showcased Shastri’s ethical conduct.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri joined the Kashi Vidya Peeth in Varanasi, one of the many national institutions set up in defiance of the British rule. This step showcased his dedication to the cause of Indian independence.
  • Shastri’s prime ministership saw India ensuring respect for the farmer and the soldier through his iconic slogan, ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.’ 
  • Shastri had said at the time of signing the Tashkent Agreement that it would be a negation of the values that the Mahatma stood for if he did not work for an environment to foster peace and non-violence. 
  • India was facing the challenge of food crisis. To tackle it, he went on to urge the people to give up one meal so that there would be more to distribute. The response was an overwhelming one and it must be noted that he implemented this at his home first.
  • During his stint as Minister, he followed professional integrity where official resources like cars was not used by him or his family for personal matters.


Over a period of more than 30 years of service, Lal Bahadur Shastri came to be known as a man of great integrity and competence. Humble, tolerant, with great inner strength and resoluteness, he was a man of the people who understood their language. With his value orientation and ethical conduct, in the direct tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri represented the best in Indian culture.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email