Shastri Government 1964- 1966

I am not as simple as I look

Lal Bahadur Shastri
 

Introduction

After the death of Nehru, Shastri succeeded as Prime Minister of India on June 2 , 1964.  Shastri retained the members of the previous Nehru cabinet and included two new ministers. Indira Gandhi was offered the office of foreign minister, but she chose to join as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

Shastri, was instrumental in strengthening the PMO – Prime Minister’s Office. During , Shastri’s time, the economic situation had worsened and Congress lost ground both at the Central and State levels. Shastri, therefore organised PM’s Secretariat and rationalised the workers of Prime Minister’s Office. L.K. Jha, a senior member of former ICS was chosen by Shastri as his Secretary and he made PMO’s office as all powerful and a professional body that advised PM, without interfering with the Cabinet Secretariat or other ministers and departments of Government.

Food Crisis

The first major task of Shastri Government was food crisis in 1964. Due to shortage of food grains, the food prices had risen by 22% in the last 18 months, which was as much rise in the preceding ten years. Shastri formulated an All India Food Policy and he then initiated a series of short term and long term measures such as , first, food ships destined to go to other ports were arranged to come to India. Second, the import of food grains was increased, third, fair price shops were strengthened, fourth, Agricultural Price Commission was constituted to keep the price situation under constant review , fifth, Food Grains Trading Corporation was set up to purchase internal agricultural produce at remunerative prices. Thus, a firm foundation was laid for Green Revolution in India.

Anti-Hindi Agitation, 1965

During India’s freedom struggle, national leaders carried on the movement through the medium of regional languages and thus it was natural that the affinity towards regional languages was there. Thus, the demand to replace English with regional language arose. After Independence, the Constituent Assembly debated this issue and then decided on the compromise formula of having both English and Hindi as official language. Then, Official language Commission , headed by B.G. Kher ( 1955) recommended the process of replacement within constitutional time-frame. But the Hindi champions in Congress party like P. Tandon and Seth Govinda Das wanted Hindi to replace English. Socialist Part and Jan Sangh launched a pro-Hindi movement.  In 1959, Nehru came up with assurance that English would continue as official language and passed Official Languages Act, 1963 to enact the same.

On 26th January 1965, the prescribed time period of 15 years to make Hindi the official language replacing English as provided in the constitution came to an end.  Then Home Minister, Nanda, persuaded himself that under Shastri Government, it could be easier to implement this.

But, there was a strong agitation from Dravida Munnetra Khazhalgam (DMK) party  in Tamil Nadu and started anti-Hindi agitation under leadership of Annadurai. There were demonstrations, processions, meetings and burning of effigies of demon of Hindi. Madras city was in chaos and became very explosive.

Shastri Government appealed for peace and held negotiations to continue English as official language. But, on 15th Feb, 35 agitators were killed and several injured. The resignation of two central ministers – C. Subramaniam and O.V.Alagesan made the matter worse for Central Government. Finally, in June 1965, Union Government agreed to give legislative sanction to continue English for administrative purposes.

Indo-Pak War,1965

Kashmir remained a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. This lead to Indo-Pak war in 1965. Pakistan formulated a three pronged strategy, first, to create tension along the Indian borders, second, to instigate Kashmiris to rise against India, third, to provoke India into war.

In April , 1965, two division of Pak army crossed the border and occupied parts of Rann of Kutch. During this intrusion Pakistan had deployed US military Patton tanks. War prolonged and a another attack in Kashmir was started in Sep. Pakistan was able to capture Akhnoor and Chicken Necks and cut off Indian access to Jammu. Shastri Government responded to this provocation and  fought back. A second front was opened and Indian army reached  a striking distance of Lahore. India gained 750 sq miles of Pakistan territory. In Sep, 1965, Chinese Chairman Mao- Tse-Tng issued an ultimatum to stop war and removal alleged Indian defence installations on Chinese side of Sikkim border.

Cease-fire was agreed between both sides as UN and west countries intervened to stop war. On 20, Sep, 1965, UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for cease-fire

JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN

The slogan was given to India by Lal Bahadur Shastri in the year 1965. It means Hail the soldier and Hail the farmer. The slogan was given to energise the soldiers to defend India during Indo Pak War and cheer up the farmers to try their best to increase production of food grains and thus reduce the dependence on imports.

Slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” that motivated the two pillars of the nation-soldiers and farmers was coined by Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. It means hail the soldier and hail the farmer.

Circumstances

The slogan was given during the 22-day Indo-Pak war of 1965, where L B Shastri led India to victory.  At the same time there was scarcity of food-grains in country. This slogan was given to enthuse the soldiers defending India and motivate farmers to do their best. The farmers were motivated to increase the production of food grains so that dependency on the imports can be reduced. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri accorded high importance to agriculturists by equating them with defense personnel, through the slogan as ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’.

Our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, immediately after independence laid highest importance to agriculture by stating “Everything can wait but not agriculture”.

Significance

Shastri’s policy of jai jawan jai kisan committed to the nation that India will not go hungry and India will not back down, militarily. The nation’s sovereignty cannot be realized in its true sense without having self sufficiency in food and a strong defense. The basic problem of mankind is food insecurity. Shastriji took the responsibility to end hunger and food insecurity and to make food available to people. Shastriji tried to make effective and long lasting policies in order to end the inefficiency in food production. Simultaneosly, Shastri fabricated military with same significance. As military provides protection to the nation’s territory from threats. It also ensures that foreign nations honor their commitments and agreements with us.

Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan

In 1998, Atal Bihari Vajpayee underlined the importance of knowledge in India’s progress by adding one more term to the slogan which became Jai Jawan! Jai Kissan! Jai Vigyan!  For any successful nation, particularly in today’s quest for knowledge based economies, science, technology and engineering are the basic requisites. If nations do not implement science and technology, then the chances of getting them developed becomes minimal and thus could be even rated as an undeveloped nation. Science and Technology is associated in all means with modernity and it is an essential tool for rapid development.

In 2009, Dr Kailash Chandra Mishra at the 10th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award ceremony restated the slogan as Jai Jawan! Jai Kissan! Jai Vigyan! Jai Vidwan! .Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan is an upcoming Hindi movie which pays a tribute to the glorious life of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri which is scheduled to release in 2015.

The revival of the spirit of the slogan as a promise given by the BJP government in the election manifesto shows its current relevance.

 

Jai Jawan  Jai Kisan-In Today’s World

Fifty years after Shastri’s death, by 2016, India will probably start seeing military parity in the modern era. Behind this parity, are two developments in India’s defense posture. The Indo-Russian development of the Brahmos missile. The development of the T-50 Fifth-Generation Fighter-Aircraft (FGFA).

Tashkent Declaration

The Tashkent Declaration of 10 January 1966 was a peace agreement between India and Pakistan after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. The 1965 armed conflict between India and Pakistan was formally brought to an end by signing this declaration at Tashkent, the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the Soviet Union. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and President Ayub Khan signed it in the presence of the Soviet Premier Alexi Kosygin who mediated between them. Declared  their firm resolve to restore normal and peaceful relations between their countries and to promote understanding and friendly relations between their peoples.  They consider the attainment of declaration objectives of vital importance for the welfare of the 600 million people of India and Pakistan. India achieved both its main objectives : a no-war agreement with Pakistan, and its commitment to honour the “sanctity” of the ceasefire line in J&K.

 

ROLE OF USA AND USSR AND OTHERS:

Two great powers pushed the two nations to a cease fire for fears the conflict could escalate and draw in other powers. The Tashkent conference, under United Nations, American and Soviet pressure, compelled India to give away the conquered region in Pakistan occupied national boundary of India and the 1949 ceasefire line in Kashmir. They pressurised India-Pakistan with dire consequences of defying the UN Security Council’s resolution insisting that the armed personnel of both countries return to the positions they had occupied before August 5, when Pakistan’s infiltrations into Kashmir were first detected

 

 

 

DECLARATION:

  • Indian and Pakistani forces would pull back to their pre-conflict positions, pre-August lines .
  • The nations would not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.
  • Economic and diplomatic relations would be restored.
  • Orderly transfer of Prisoners of War.
  • The two leaders would work towards building good relations between the two countries.

 

ANALYSIS AND AFTERMATH :

  • The agreement was criticized in India because it did not contain a no-war pact or any renunciation of guerrilla warfare in Kashmir.
  • After signing the agreement, Lal Bahadur Shashtri the Indian Prime Minister then died mysteriously at Tashkent.
  • In accordance to the Tashkent Declaration, talks at the ministerial level were held but no result was achieved out of these talks, as there was a difference of opinion over the Kashmir issue.
  • Demonstrations and rioting erupted at various places throughout the country.
  • It was the difference over Tashkent Declaration, which eventually led to the removal of Z. A. Bhutto from Ayub’s government
  • Tashkent Declaration greatly damaged the image of Ayub Khan, and became one of the many factors that led to his downfall
  • In broad outline, of course, the declaration was not a game-changer. It did not cause Delhi and Islamabad to turn a new leaf in their relations and so move ahead toward changing the entire gamut of their ties.

 

Durand Line

It is the 2,600 km border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In an attempt to secure or depict borders or frontiers, several lines were drawn in India and elsewhere during the period of the British Empire. These were:

  • The Durand Line (1893) that was to represent the limits of the respective spheres of influence of British India and Afghanistan in the Pakhtun belt;
  • The Johnson-Ardagh Line (1895) – border of Ladakh, a territory belonging to the Indian princely state of Kashmir, with Tibet and Sinkiang;
  • McCartney-MacDonald Line (1899) – Kashmir-Ladakh border with Sinkiang and Tibet;
  • The McMahon Line (1914) between Tibet and India in the eastern sector; and
  • The Radcliffe Award/Line (1947) dividing British administered India (excluding the princely states of undivided India) into India and Pakistan.

Historic Backgrouund:

  • Imperialism — British interest in Afghanistan — due to its strategic geographical location
  • Can act as an advanced post outside India’s frontier to check Russian threat + promoting British commercial interests in Central Asia
  • This resulted in 1st Afghan War 1839-41 – British lost the war
  • 2nd Afghan War 1878 – British victory – Treaty of Gandamak
  • Durand Line Agreement 1893 – signed between Sir Mortimer  Durand, the Foreign Secretary of then undivided British India and Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan ruler. Hence the name Durand Line.

Post Independence:

  • The issue of Durand Line has been the bone of contention between Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1947.
  • Afghanistan rejects the line as international boundary. In 1948, Afghanistan opposed Pakistan joining the UN.
  • Pakistan asserts the line as international border.
  • In 1950 there were incursions from the Afghanistan side into Pakistani Pakhtun territory. In 1961 there were skirmishes which led to the border being shut down for a number of years.
  • The line runs through the tribal lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly inhabited by Pashtuns. A Loya Jirga held in 1949 repudiated all the treaties made with the British and supported an independent Pakhtunistan.
  • During the war against the Soviet Union, CIA-funded and ISI-trained
    Mujahideen military groups from Pakistan regularly crossed the Durand Line to fight in Afghanistan
  • The majority of the Taliban are made up of Afghan Pashtun tribesmen. Even the Taliban, acknowledged to be under Pakistani influence, when they ran Afghanistan, refused to accept the Line as an international border.
  • S.A & U.K. supports Pakistan’s claim – based on their self-interest in the region.
  • India has refrained from commenting on the Durand Line even though Afghanistan’s frontier meets the territory of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (in areas currently occupied by Pakistan)

Present Scenario:

  • Porous Border: The border has become a centre of all illegal activities – from arms trade to narcotics. – Acts as a passage for Taliban militants.

 

  • Geopolitical Significance:

 

  • Balochistan – as the Baloch refer to their homeland, is divided today between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan — holds significant reserves of gas, gold, copper, oil and uranium, and also has a 1,000-kilometre coastline at the gates of the Persian Gulf Pakistan Province – marred by insurgency by Baloch rebels – another ethnic tribe demanding separate Balochistan. Pakistan afraid of Afghanistan’s role in Balochistan. As a countermeasure Pakistan supports Taliban against them.

 

  • Gwadar Port and the “String of Pearls”:
  • Multi-billion dollar agreement between Pakistan and China to develop the port ofGwadar
  • Important to the shipping route into and out of the Persian Gulf — Gateway to the Strait of Hormuz
  • A significant international route for oil tankers travelling through the Gulf to Japan and western countries.
  • This would enable it to compete with UAE ports, improving existing links with the Caspian region and offering a better trade route to the landlocked region.

 

  • An alternative to Karachi, its largest port, which is located close to Indian territory

 

  • Seen as a part of ‘String of Pearls’ strategy of Chinese where they’ve got hold of strategic ports in Gwadar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and South China Sea

 

  • Chabahar port – India & Iran
  • In October 2014, the Indian cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made a final decision to support the Iranian Chabahar port projecton the shores of the Arabian Sea

 

  • Located in Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran — just 44 miles (70 km) away from Gwadar and is strategically situated between Pakistan and the Persian Gulf, making it especially valuable for checking any Chinese attempt to use Gwadar to deepen naval deployments in Middle Eastern waters

 

  • Integral part of India’s Afghan strategy given the Persian Gulf state’s proximity to Afghanistan, which allows India to use it to bypass Pakistan

 

  • Iranian governmenthas built a series of roads connecting Chabahar port to the Iran-Afghanistan border

 

  • Strategy is aimed at fulfilling the immediate security interests of establishing a sea-land route into Afghanistan’s major cities – Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

 

  • This access will be facilitated through the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by India in 2009.
  • Additionally, it’s a step to counter China’s growing influence in the development of that region

 

  • TAPI pipeline Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipelines for the supply of natural gas Important for meeting India’s energy needs – passes through Durand Line.
  • US led NATO pulls out of Afghanistan

 

FUTURE:

The future of the Line is very much dependent on the strategic game that is currently being played all over the region, essentially for a stake in Afghanistan’s vast oil, gas and mineral resources, with new entrants, most noticeably China. It is in a way connected to the strategy that would be adopted by the players of this strategic game.

 

Lal Bahadur Shastri Goverment achievements

Shastri was the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and He became the Minister of Police and Transport in Pant’s Cabinet . He was appointed as the Railways and Transport Minister in the Central Cabinet; also held the portfolios of Transport & Communications, Commerce and Industry, and Home Ministry in the Central cabinet. He once resigned from his post as Railways and Transport cabinet minister, not as a political move but as an honest reaction of accepting moral and constitutional responsibility for the railway accidents that took place. He succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru as the second Prime Minister of India in 1964. He kept a low political profile except towards the end of his administration. During his tenure the country was facing huge challenges. There was food shortage in the country and on the security front Pakistan was creating problems. In 1965, Pakistan tried to take advantage of India’s vulnerability and attacked India. Mild-mannered Shastri rose to the occasion and led the country ably. To enthuse soldiers and farmers he coined the slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan”.

 

ECONOMIC POLICIES

Shastri continued Nehru’s socialist economic policies with central planning.  He promoted the White Revolution – a national campaign to increase the production and supply of milk – by supporting the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat and creating the National Dairy Development Board. While speaking on the chronic food shortages across the country, Shastri urged people to voluntarily give up one meal so that the saved food could be distributed to the affected populace. Many parts of the country observed the “Shastri Vrat”. He himself motivated the countrymen to maximize the cultivation of food grains in lawn in his official residence in New Delhi. During the 22-day war with Pakistan in 1965, On October 19, 1965, Shastri gave the seminal ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kishan’ (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) slogan at Urwa in Allahabad that became a national slogan. Underlining the need to boost India’s food production, Shastri also promoted the Green Revolution. The Food Corporation of India was setup under the Food Corporation’s Act 1964 . The National Agricultural Products Board Act was passed during his tenure. The Third Five Year Plan was during his tenure. Due to miserable failure of the Third Plan the government was forced to declare “plan holidays” (from 1966–67, 1967–68, and 1968–69). Three annual plans were drawn during this intervening period. During 1966–67, there was again the problem of drought. Equal priority was given toagriculture, its allied activities, and industrial sector. The main reasons for plan holidays were the war, lack of resources, and increase in inflation.

 

 

FOREIGN POLICY

Shastri continued Nehru’s policy of non-alignment but also built closer relations with the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the formation of military ties between the Chinese People’s Republic and Pakistan, Shastri’s government decided to expand the defense budget of India’s armed forces. In 1964, Shastri signed an accord with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike regarding the status of Indian Tamils in the then Ceylon. This agreement is also known as the Srimavo- Shastri Pact or the Bandaranaike-Shastri pact.

 

Srimavo- Shastri Pact: Under the terms of this agreement, 600,000 Indian Tamils were to be repatriated, while 375,000 were to be granted Sri Lankan citizenship. This settlement was to be done by 31 October, 1981. However, after Shastri’s death, by 1981, India had taken only 300,000 Tamils as repatriates, while Sri Lanka had granted citizenship to only 185,000 citizens (plus another 62,000 born after 1964). Later, India declined to consider any further applications for citizenship, stating that the 1964 agreement had lapsed.

 

In December 1965, Lal Bahadur Shastri made an official visit with his family to Rangoon, Burma and re-established a cordial relation with the country’s military government of General Ne Win. India’s relationship with Burma had stained after the 1962 Military coup.