Shastri was born in a Hindu Kayastha family. He was born at his maternal grandparents’ house in Mughalsarai,Varanasi. Shastri's paternal forefathers were in the service of the zamindar of Ramnagar near Varanasi. Shastri lived with his maternal grandparents when he was just a year old.
Shastri's father was Sharada Prasad Shrivastava who was a school teacher who later became a clerk in the revenue office at Allahabad. His mother was Ramdulari Devi, who was the daughter of Munshi Hazari Lal who was the headmaster and English teacher at a railway school in Mughalsarai.
Shastri was the eldest son of his parents and second child. He also had an elder sister named Kailashi Devi. In April of the year 1906, when Shastri was hardly one year old when his father died in an epidemic of bubonic plague. Shashtri’s mother Ramdulari Devi who became a widow at the age of 23 was pregnant with her third child.
She took her other two children and moved from Ramnnagar to her father's house in Mughalsarai and settled there. She gave birth to a daughter, Sundari Devi, in July 1906.Thus, Shastri and his sisters grew up in the household of his maternal grandfather, Hazari Lal.
During those times it was mandatory for children to receive education in Urdu language. The reason for the same was that the aforesaid language had been used by the government for centuries, before being replaced by English.
Therefore, Shastri too began his education in Urdu at the age of four under the tutelage of a Muslim cleric or Maulvi, Budhan Mian, at the East Central Railway Inter college in Mughalsarai.
He studied there until the sixth standard and in the year 1917 the entire family moved to Varanasi.In Varanasi, Shastri joined at Harish Chandra High School in the 7th standard.
It was during this time that he decided to drop his caste-derived surname of "Varma" (which is a traditional optional surname for all Kayastha families).
Shastri as a Young Satyagrahi
Shastri also was a young Satyagrahi from the years 1921 till 1945. He joined as a life member of the Servants of the People Society (Lok Sevak Mandal), founded by Lala Lajpat Rai, and began to work for the betterment of the Harijans under Gandhi's direction at Muzaffarpur.
Later he became the President of the Society.
His Political Career
After India's independence, Shastri was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary in his home state, Uttar Pradesh. He became the Minister of Police and Transport under Govind Ballabh Pant’s Chief ministership on 15 August 1947 following Rafi Ahmed Kidwai’s departure to become minister at centre.
Some of his great moves as a Politician:
•He was the first to appoint women conductors when he became the transport minister. Also, it was he who ordered police to use water jets instead of lathis to disperse the crowd when he became the minister in charge of the Police Department.
•His tenure as police minister (As Home Minister was called prior to 1950) saw successful curbing of communal riots in 1947, mass migration and resettlement of refugees.
Shastri was in Tashkent to sign Tashkent Declaration. He suffered from a heart attack and died of the same. But, people allege that there was a conspiracy behind his death.
After his death, Gulzarilal Nanda once again assumed the role of Acting Prime Minister until Indira Gandhi was officially elected as the succeeding Prime Minister by the Congress Parliamentary Party.
•Shastri was the first Prime Minister of India to die overseas.
•Also, he was eulogised as a national hero and the Vijay Ghat memorial was established in his memory.
•The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute was named after Shastri due to his role in promoting scholarly activity between India and Canada.
•Lal Bhadur Shastri Memorial is run by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Memorial Trust which is situated next to 10 Janpath in Delhi
•In 2011, on Shastri's 45th death anniversary, the government of Uttar Pradesh announced to renovate Shastri's ancestral house at Ramnagar in Varanasi and declared plans to convert it into a biographical museum.
•Varanasi International Airport is named after him to commemorate him
•Lal Bahadur Shastri Centre For Indian Culture with a Monument and a street is named after him in the city of Tashkent,Uzbekistan.
•There are a few stadiums that are named after him in the cities of Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Ahmadabad in Gujarat and another one at Kollam in Kerala.
•There is a Shastri Road in Kottayam,Kerala