Bengaluru: Today (January 11) is the 54th death anniversary of one of the former PMs of India Lal Bahadur Shastri. We have compiled a list of a few lesser known facts about the former PM. 

1. Lal Bahadur got his degree ‘shastri’ while he was studying in Kashi Vidyapeeth university in Varanasi in 1926 as a mark of scholarly success. 

2. Shastri’s mother had lost Shastri while taking a bath in the Ganges when he was 3 months old. Following an FIR, a cowherd who had no children, unwillingly returned him to his mother. 

3.  As a school boy, Shastri would swim across the Ganges twice a day with his books tied on top of his head. He did not have enough money to take a ferry to school. 

4.  As Minister of police in Uttar Pradesh, Shastri was the first person who used jets of water to disperse crowd instead of a lathi charge. 

5.  On the occasion of his wedding, Shastri took a khadi cloth and a spinning wheel as part of dowry. 

6.  As per a report by the New York Times, Jawaharlal Nehru had once described Shastri as “half-civilised” because he would frequently appear in a dhoti. 

7.  Shastri’s family was surviving on a pension of Rs. 50 per month, when he was in jail during the freedom struggle. His wife informed him that she saved Rs.10 from that money. Shastri asked the Servants of People’s Society for his pension to be reduced and Rs.10 to be paid to some needy.

8. When his son was given an undue promotion at a department, Shastri had it reversed immediately

9.  Shastri had a habit of revising drafts endless number of times. In 1964, he revised his speech for a conference in Cairo so many times that by the time he went to speak it could not be typed in full

10. On the occasion of his birth centenary in 2004, the RBI issued a Rs.100 coin with his portrait on it, commemorating his life. The coin is non-circulating and is available on order alone.

All these facts appeared on Indian Express