Rupa Publications to Publish Lal Bahadur Shastri: Politics and Beyond by Dr Sandeep Shastri

Rupa Publications India will publish Lal Bahadur Shastri: Politics and Beyond by Dr Sandeep Shastri, commemorating the 113th birth anniversary of lndia’s second prime minister.

This book is a nuanced view of the early influences, political associations and defining historical decisions of India’s second prime minister.

About the Book:

Famous for the inspiring slogan, ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s prime ministership saw India ensuring respect for the farmer and the soldier. In his brief yet eventful tenure of nineteen months, he resolved some of the most contentious problems facing the country, by taking all segments of society along.

The book takes a closer look at his pioneering efforts at ensuring self-sufficiency in foodgrains by ushering in the Green Revolution. As the inspiration behind the original ‘surgical strikes’, it also highlights the laudatory manner in which Shastri motivated the soldiers to effectively respond to Pakistan’s military adventurism, by giving the green signal to the military to enter Pakistani soil.

Insightful, thought-provoking, and written in a lucid style by one of India’s most respected political commentators, Lal Bahadur Shastri focuses on the leader’s greatest strengths-integrity, humility, simplicity and a self-effacing nature.


Dr Sandeep Shastri is the pro-vice-chancellor of Jain University and director of its Centre for Research in Social Sciences and Education. He is the national coordinator of Lokniti, an all-lndia network of social scientists involved in survey-based election and opinion studies. He is a featured election and political analyst for India Today TV, and had held the same position earlier for CNN-IBN. He is a consultant to the Forum of Federations and a senior adviser on constitutional reforms and the transition to democracy in Myanmar, Sudan and South Sudan. He has also been the chief consultant for the Forum Project in Myanmar since 2012.


‘Lal Bahadur Shastri, the unassuming, consensus-building prime minister, restored to us dignity and self-confidence, which we lost in the 1962 debacle. Dr Sandeep Shastri does well to remind us that  though his tenure was only nineteen  months, PM Shastri provided  decisive leadership, and tried  to clean up corruption in high places.’

-Shakti Sinha, director, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library and former secretary to the late prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee

“The life and times of Lal Bahadur Shastri are a less-chronicled aspect of contemporary India. Truth is, Shastri was a politician of integrity and complexity whose legacy is trapped between that of Nehru and Indira. In this carefully researched book, Dr Sandeep Shastri draws on all his knowledge of politics and society to do great justice to one of the cowering political figures of modern lndia, whose inspiring life is a reminder of just what true public service is really about.’

-Rajdeep Sardesai, consulting editor, India Today television

‘Sandeep Shastri’s biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri is filling an important gap in the literature as this figure of Indian politics has remained understudied for too long.  While his tenure as prime minister has been very short, it has played a key part in the political trajectory of lndia, vis-a-vis Pakistan because of the 1965 war, but also domestically. Shastri’s contribution shows that Congress could always rely on remarkable leaders out of the Nehru-Gandhi family.’

-Christophe Jaffrelot, professor of South Asian politics and history the Centre d’etudes et de recherché internationales (CERI) at Sciences Po

‘Lal Bahadur Shastri has for long invited us to think of a counter-factual: What would have been the course of political events, the Congress party and, indeed, Indian history, if he had not passed away so suddenly? The first academic study of the life and legacy of Shastriji brings out not just his famed personal virtues of simplicity and honesty but also his political skills of consultation, cooperation  and consensus-building. Professor Sandeep Shastri combines deep empathy with rigorous scholarship to fill a major gap in the existing scholarship and lay the foundation for future research in political biographies.’

-Yogendra Yadav, president, Swaraj India party and leading political scientist

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