We don’t really come across such loud and powerful blog article about the death of our Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Or well, you can say I myself haven’t. Throughout the article I found myself agreeing most of the point raised by Soutik Biswas in regards of mystery surrounding the death of Late Prime Minister Mr. Shastri.
A totally Non controversial leader who lead the India in a very honorable and exceptional way to the new heights was the Prime Minister during Indo-Pakistan War in September 1965 where India won this historic war under his strong leadership. Mr Shastri died in Tashkent due to heart attack, at least that’s what our official documents says, but not many people believes in this official documentation of Mr. Shastri’s death and has been trying hard to get the real facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Shastri but till now No Luck.
Our government rigid stand not to declassify the document relating to Shastri’s death is really giving me more butterflies in my stomach.
I feel our Indian government does owe us a lot. Government refusal to declassify document relating to Shastri’s death raises more eyebrows, fingers and surfaced more question for us than answers. Government stand that declassifying the document could harm foreign relations, cause disruption in the country and cause breach of parliamentary privileges, only increases the mystery around Mr. Shastri death. But as a citizen we have every right to know the exact cause of death of our beloved leader.
We all want to know how can be declassifying the document could harm our foreign relations? How it will disrupt our society? Who will be affected by declassifying the documents? Is there something to hide from us? This is so cruel. We have every right to know the real cause of death of our beloved leader. We want to know who is responsible for his death. It was a natural death or it was a murdered?
Was a Former Indian Prime Minister Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri Murdered? Brilliant article By Soutik Biswas on Lal Bahadur Shastri Death.
Was India’s third prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, murdered? Officially, the diminutive leader died of a heart attack in a dacha in Tashkent, hours after he signed a peace agreement with the Pakistani president, Ayub Khan, on 11 January 1966, some four months after the end of the second war between the two neighbours. But if you believe surviving members of Mr Shastri’s family and an enthusiastic Delhi-based journalist, Mr Shastri was possibly poisoned.
What has added grist to the conspiracy mill is the Indian government’s refusal to declassify a document it has in its possession pertaining to Mr Shastri’s death. In response to a right to information request by the enterprising Anuj Dhar, a journalist and a self-proclaimed “declassification enthusiast”, the prime minister’s office said that making public that document could “harm foreign relations, cause disruption in the country and cause breach of parliamentary privileges”. Totally non-controversial in his life, Mr Shastri has become controversial in death.
I did a little digging around and found that most of the better-known accounts of Mr Shastri’s death have raised no doubts – death by heart failure. In his magisterial India After Gandhi, historian Ramachandra Guha writes Mr Shastri “died in his sleep of a heart attack”. In her biography of Indira Gandhi, Katherine Frank writes that after he “went to bed in the early hours of the 11th January, Mr Shastri had a fatal heart attack”.
The most vivid account is in my dog eared copy of the long out-of-print book India, The Critical Years by veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar. He was part of the prime minister’s travelling press corps to Tashkent.
Mr Nayar writes that the Indian prime minister was already a heart patient, having suffered two attacks. He had had a hectic day, holding talks with the Russian premier, Alexey Kosygin – the Russians having brokered the pact – and his officials and had had very little sleep.
“That evening,” writes Mr Nayar, “I met by chance his personal physican Dr RN Chugh, who accompanied him. I asked him how Shastri was standing the strain. He looked up to the sky and said: ‘Everything is in the hands of God’.” Mr Nayar does not elaborate.
Mr Nayar then proceeds to describe the fateful night in Agatha Christie-like detail. Since he was to travel in the prime minister’s airplane early next morning to Kabul en route to Delhi, he retired to bed early an hour before midnight. “I must have been dozing when someone knocked at my door and said: ‘Your prime minister is dying.’ A Russian lady was waking up all the journalists,” writes Mr Nayar.
A group of journalists then sped to Mr Shastri’s dacha from the hotel. On arriving, Mr Nayar found a grief-stricken Mr Kosygin standing on the verandah. “He could not speak and only lifted his hands to indicate Shastri was no more.”
When Mr Nayar went in, he found Dr Chugh being questioned by a group of Soviet doctors through an interpreter. In the next room Mr Shastri lay still on his bed. The journalists emptied the flower vases in the room and spread them on the prime minister’s body. Mr Nayar also noticed an overturned thermos flask on a dressing table some 10 feet away from Mr Shastri’s bed and wondered whether the prime minister had struggled to get to open it to get water. “His slippers were neatly placed near the bed; it meant that he walked barefoot up to the dressing table in the carpeted room,” Mr Nayar writes. Read Full Article on BBC