The war between India and Pakistan had finally ceased in October 1965, due to firm action taken by the Security Council of the United Nations. A cease-fire had been ordered to which both nations complied. The war had reached a stalemate, yet neither country was willing to withdraw from the military positions they had gained. In January 1966,
the Soviet Union persuaded President Ayub Khan of Pakistan and Prime Minster Lal Bahadur Shastri to come to the Russian city of Tashkent and sign an agreement for complete withdrawal behind their own borders in accordance with the 1949 cease-fire line. Both leaders were scheduled to meet for summit talks on January 3rd, 1966. When Prime Minister Shastri was on his way to Tashkent, one night Baba asked Bhau, “Will Shastri return to India from Russia?”
“Why not?” Bhau said.
“Winter is severe in Russia and Shastri is a heart patient. I feel he will not come back.”
Bhau said to Baba, “Shastri is a very good man, gentle and self-effacing. Why don’t you do away with Ayub Khan; he is the one responsible for all this carnage?”
Baba, however, replied, “Ayub Khan is very strong, hale and hearty. The cold will not affect him.”
Bhau asked, “In the case of Shastri’s demise, who is fit to become Prime Minister?”
Baba replied, “A good and strong Prime Minister will come.”
After a few moments he asked about Nehru’s daughter, Indira. “What do you think of Indira?”
Bhau asked, “What experience does she have, Baba? She is quite new to politics.”
Baba remarked, “You have no idea about her. Jawaharlal has taught her everything. She is very clever.” Bhau later related the conversation to Nariman, and both of them were surprised when Shastri suddenly died in Tashkent on January 10th, and Indira Gandhi took over as Prime Minister of India.
Just before Shastri had left for Russia, C. D. Deshmukh met him, told him of Baba and presented him with a copy of The Everything And The Nothing, along with the Parvardigar Prayer. Shastri expressed his assurance that he would read them, and allowed himself to be photographed with Deshmukh, as he held the literature in his hand.
When news of Shastri’s passing was heard on the morning of Tuesday, January 11th, Baba commented:
Lal Bahadur was a fine man and a very good soul. He was blessed to have heard my name and talked about me with Deshmukh before leaving his physical body.
Longfellow said: “Come ye slow or come ye fast, It is but death who
comes at last.” And the poet Amir said: “Man is born for his last
Whereas I say: “None dies, and none knows to die. The rare one who
knows to die is never born again!”
Lord Meher, Original Publication, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 19, pp.6418 – 6420.