Simplicity of Shastriji

Lalbahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of India. He was the personification of simplicity, honesty and nobility. Many incidents in his life inspire us. This is an incident which shows his honesty and nobility.

Once, when Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Prime Minister, he paid a visit to a textiles mill. He was accompanied by the owner of the mill, some dignitaries from his office and some other important personalities in the society.

After going around the mill, he went to see the mill’s warehouse. Here, he saw some sarees on display. He requested the mill owner to show some sarees to him. The owner of the mill and his salesman showed him various kinds of sarees. Each one of them was unique and of high quality.

Shastriji asked the owner, “The sarees are beautiful; how are they priced?”

The mill owner mentioned the price of different sarees, “This costs Rs. 800, this is for Rs.1000, etc.”

Shastriji said, “These are too expensive; show me those that are less expensive.”

So the mill owner showed him other sarees, quoting prices like Rs. 500, Rs.400 and so on.

Shastriji said, “These sarees are also expensive. Show me some that are still cheaper and affordable for a poor person like me.”

The mill owner said, “You are our Prime Minister, how can you be called poor? Moreover, we are offering these sarees as a gift to you.”

“No, my dear friend, I cannot accept such expensive gifts,” said Shastriji.

The owner, however, insisted, “Giving a gift to our Prime Minister is our privilege.”

To which Shastriji replied, “Yes, I may be the Prime Minister, but that does not mean that I should accept all those things that I cannot afford and give them to my wife. Although I am a Prime Minister, I am of limited means. Please show me some cheaper sarees. I will buy those that I can afford.”

The mill owner pleaded in vain. Finally the Prime Minister of the country purchased only those sarees that were affordable to him!