Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first president of the Republic of India. Being an accomplished lawyer Dr. Rajendra Prasad was also a great supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. As Gandhiji was his greatest influence, after meeting him he stopped believing in caste system and untouchability. Dr. Prasad called for non cooperation in Bihar as a part of Gandhiji’s non cooperation movement.
Early Life of Dr. Rajendra Prasad
His Parents are Mahadev Sahay and Kamleshwari Devi, he was their youngest son. He was born in Bihar’s Siwan district on December 3, 1884. He was called as ‘Rajen’ and was very much close to his mother and brother Mahendra.
When he was 5 years old he learned Persian under a Maulavi. He learnt the national language Hindi and arithmetic later. At the age of 12 he married to Rajvanshi Devi. He was a brilliant student and stood first in the entrance examination for Calcutta University and got scholarship. He was a brilliant student and earned Master’s Degree in Law winning a gold medal. He completed his Doctorate in Law from Allahabad University.
He served as a teacher in various educational institutions. He became a professor of English at the Langat Singh College and went to become the principal. He was appointed as one of the first member of the Senate and Syndicate of the Patna University. Becoming an active journalist he has wrote for ‘Searchlight’ in English.
He was elected as Congress President in the year 1939. When constituent assembly was established in July 1946 he was elected as the president. During his tenure he visited many countries and sought to maintain a good relation with them. The constitution for independent India was rafted on January 26, 1950 and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the India’s first President. He even served as a Minister of Food and Agriculture. He retired after 12 years serving as the President of the nation and was consequently awarded the nation’s highest civilian award “The Bharat Ratna”.
Involvement with Mahatma Gandhi
He joined Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle and was a active member in Non cooperation, Salt Satyagraha and Champaran Agarian Agitation. During Salt Satyagraha Dr. Prasad was been arrested and sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was an active member in the independence struggle and toured widely to explain, teach the principles of independence movement. Greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s dedication, conviction and courage he started leading a simple life and doing his daily chores himself.
Books written by Dr. Rajendra Prasad
He has written his autobiography ‘Atmakatha’ which was published in 1946. He is also the author of India Divided in 1946, Mahatma Gandhi and Bihar, Some Reminiscences in 1949, Satyagraha at Champaran in 1922 and Bapu ke Kadmon Mein in 1954. In this book he has narrated the movement for freedom struggle and the acquaintance with Mahatma Gandhi very nicely.
He spent his life in retirement in Sadaqat Asharam in Patna. Being affected by sickness for six weeks he died on February 28, 1963.