When America became free the name of George Washington became a household word in America. His name is even now a household word in America. India also has been made free from the British rule. Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of the Republic of India. We hope his name will also be a household word in India as the first President of the Republic of India.
Birth and Education
Rajendra Prasad was born on the 3rd December, 1884, at Jirade, in the district of Saran in Bihar. People of Bihar are particularly proud of him. Calcutta also has reason to be proud of him. The first President of the Indian Republic passed the B. A. and the M. A. Examinations of the University of Calcutta from the Presidency College of Calcutta in 1906 and 1908 respectively. He obtained the B. A. degree with honours in English and History. Then he passed the B. L. Examination. In 1915, he passed the M. L. Examination. Later the Calcutta University conferred on him the honorary degree of D. L. in recognition of his knowledge of law.
Dr. Rejendra Prasad started his life as a Professor of English in G. B. B. College, Mazaffarpur, in 1908. Later he joined the bar and started practice in the High Court of Calcutta in 1911. In 1916, he joined the High Court of Patna and practised there till 1920. At this time Mahatma Gandhi started his famous non-cooperation movement. In 1920, he joined the non-co-operation movement and gave up legal practice. Since then he dedicated his life to the service of the motherland. He had struggled hard in the fight for the freedom of India.
Service to the motherland
Rajendra Prasad loved his country even when he was student. It was the dream of his life to make India free from foreign rule. When the opportunity came, he fully availed himself of it. So he sacrificed his personal interest for the welfare of his country. Since that time he had served his motherland in various ways. He was a prominent member of the youth movement of Bihar and leader of the Bihar Students’ Conference. He was a member of the Senate of the Patna University for several years. He was twice President of All-India Hindi Literary Conference. In 1917, he joined Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran satyagraha and afterwards he joined all Congress movements. He became the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress in 1922. He was a member of the Congress Working Committee. He was President of the Indian National Congress in 1932,1934, 1939 and 1947. He had been Chairman of India’s Constituent Assembly since its formation in December, 1946. He was Minister for Food and Agriculture in Interim Government of India and in the first Indian National Government after independence. On January 26,1950, India was declared a Republican State and Rajendra Prasad was elected its first President. He was thrice elected President successively. He occupied that honourable position with great credit to him for twelve years. His health then broke down. He died in Patna in February, 1963 at the age of 78. Thus Rajendra Prasad had a long and brilliant record of service to his motherland in various ways and capacities.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad had many noble qualities. He was a man of sterling character. His glowing patriotism, his selfless devotion to the country’s cause, his honesty and sincerity, his firmness of mind are worthy of emulation. He did not care for personal gain, so he gave up legal practice and threw himself heart and soul into the struggle for the freedom of India. He became a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi, so he sincerely followed the policy of non-violence in the struggle for freedom. He had to court imprisonment several times in the country’s cause. He was a man of plain living and high thinking. He was a friend of the common people. We know of his splendid service to the people of Bihar when a terrible earthquake devastated a great part of Bihar in 1934. Though he had received English education, he was a true Indian in manners and customs and mode of living. So he firmly supported many time-honoured ideas of this ancient land of ours.
Rajendra Prasad hold the highest position of honour in India by virtue of hit own merit. He rose to this position from a humble life. His life is an inspiration to the young men of this country.