Rajendra Prasad: Not only the first President of India but he was also known as a teacher, lawyer, and freedom fighter. He was identified by many professions. His dedication to work still inspires us. Being a dedicated follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he turned to politics. At a time, when India was under British rule, he thought about fighting for its independence. He was one of the significant craftsmen of modern India. Some call him the political thinker of modern India also.
This article will be a knowledgeable substance for every India to know about their first President of the country. He was the only president who served two full terms. The man who made India proud in front of the whole world is none other than Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Let’s sneak into his rising and incumbency period in this article.
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Early Life and Education of Rajendra Prasad
Born in Ziradei, Bihar which was in the Bengal Presidency at that time, he belonged to a Kayastha family. He used to listen to stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata from his mother, Kamleshwari Devi who was a devout woman. His father, Mahadev Sahai Srivastava was an erudite person both in Sanskrit and Persian languages. At a very early age, he lost his mother.
He started his education with an eminent Muslim teacher. He used to learn Hindi, arithmetic, and Persian language at an early age and then he was sent to Chapra district school. At that time, it was not so surprising to marry at a very early age. He married Rajvanshi Devi at the age of 12. Then he studied for two years at T. K. Ghosh’s Academy in Patna along with his elder brother. After getting a scholarship of Rs 30 per month from the University of Calcutta, he was admitted to the Presidency College in 1902. He completed his graduation in 1905 with first division.
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There is an interesting story about his merit. When he was writing the examination paper, a teacher commented that the examinee is better than the examiner. He was certainly a meritorious student who decided to take admission in M.A in Economics. He scored first division as usual. His political career started in the later years after being a crucial part of the Bihari Students Conference in 1906.
Some Facts About Dr. Rajendra Prasad
We get him in many characters such as a teacher, lawyer, freedom fighter, and the president of India. But before joining politics to work as a freedom fighter, he was a teacher and lawyer. Let’s see those moments also. After passing M.A in Economics, he was elected as the professor of English at Langat Singh College in Muzaffarpur and then the principal of the college. As he was a very learned man at that time, he wasn’t satisfied with his career.
So, he took admission to Rippon College, (now Surendranath Law College) Calcutta. Dabbling with his legal studies and professor of English, Prasad passed the Masters in Law and won a gold medal. Later he completed his doctorate also in 1937. It was the time to join the High Court of Bihar and Odisha in 1916. The notable period of his life was already started.
The Journey from 1906 to 1963
It was this time when we get him as a freedom fighter and the president of India. His first association with Indian National Congress started in 1906 as a volunteer. But officially, he joined the team in 1911. Being deeply impacted by Mahatma Gandhi in 1916, he left his lawyer duties and helped the movement. It was the time of the Non-Cooperation period called by the India National Congress in 1920. At this time he wrote for Searchlight (English) and edited Desh (Hindi) for the nationalist interest. He was jailed two times during the Salt Satyagraha in 1931 and the Quit India Movement in 1942.
In 1934, he was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress after coming out of jail. He was again arrested in 1942 and stayed for three long years. After being released from jail, he was elected as the minister of the Food and Agriculture department in 1946. It was the same year when he was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly. As the country was celebrating independence, he was the only one who became the President in 1950. There is an inspiring story of him about his dedication to work.
When her sister died on the day of his oath, he prioritized his work first then cremated her body after completing his work on the parade ground. He had served 12 consecutive years in his incumbency period as the president. This is one of the unimaginable facts that made him India’s proud. Because of his contribution to society, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna Award in 1962.
Why Rajendra Prasad was Called Ajatashatru
Ajatashatru means someone who doesn’t have any enemies. Prasad was a gentleman and a selfless person. Because of these characteristics, Mahatma Gandhi called him Ajatashatru. Prasad believed that religious violence gives birth to immortality and bitterness. His view on non-violence was certain as he believed in goodwill and tolerance as well as equal rights. He was the man of peace and prosperity and his dedication towards integrating all the country’s people in a non-violent way. Truly, he didn’t have any enemies inside or outside of the party. He was the epitome of simplicity and selflessness as Hamid Ansari, the former Vice-President of India said on the 125th birth anniversary of Rajendra Prasad.
This learned and erudite personality makes India a rich country towards other countries. This well-renowned politician died just after one year of his serving period as the president of India. It was on 28th February 1963 at the age of 78. His contribution towards making India a great and independent country is still remembered in some important events. Because of him, the guidelines for parliamentarians were set up and that was an important initiative from his side.
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