Dr Rajendra Prasad was a prominent personality who greatly contributed to our national freedom struggle. Born in Zeradei in Siwan district of Bihar on December 3, 1884, he was an influential leader during the Indian freedom struggle. Here are a few facts about Dr Rajendra Prasad-
1. He is the only President to serve two full terms-
He was elected unanimously in 1952 as the President of India. He was re-elected in 1957 and remains the only President of India to achieve this feat. He served as the President of India for 12 years. He was also appointed as Minister of food and agriculture in 1946.
2. He formed the Bihar Students’ Conference in 1908-
Bihar Students’ Conference was the first organization of its kind in the whole of India. It was formed at the Hall of Patna College. It gave some prominent leaders to the society from Bihar like Shri Krishna Sinha, Dr Anugrah Narayan etc.
3. He did his graduation and post-graduation from the University of Calcutta-
He stood first in the entrance examination to study at the University of Calcutta. He was initially a science student at Presidency College. He got an FA from the university when he graduated with first division from there in 1905. He did his MA economics in 1907.
4. He was also a professor of English and Economics-
He joined as a professor of English at Langat Singh College of Muzaffarpur and later on became its Principal. He left his job to pursue a degree in law from the University of Calcutta. While studying at the University of Calcutta, he taught Economics at the Calcutta City College.
5. He emerged as a popular and eminent lawyer of Bihar-
After completing a doctorate in law from Allahabad University with a gold medal, he started practising law at Calcutta High Court in 1911. He joined Patna High court after its establishment. He continued his law practice in Bhagalpur while continuing his advanced academic degrees.
6. He left his law practice to join the national movement along with Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru-
He offered his whole-hearted support to ‘Champaran Satyagraha’. He gave up his lucrative law practice and dedicated himself to cause of freedom. He led programs of non-cooperation in Bihar. He toured the state, holding public meetings and making heartfelt speeches for the support of the movement.
7. Rajendra Prasad had a deep and profound effect of Gandhiji on him-
He was deeply impressed by how Gandhiji took up the cause of people and gave them his all. It led him to alter his views on untouchability. Following Gandhi’s example, Dr Prasad embraced a simple and austere life. He gave up on luxuries like servants and riches. He even started performing household chores like sweeping, washing and cooking.
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8. He was a great humanitarian who was always ready to help people who were in distress-
He volunteered his services for the relief work during the great flood which affected Bihar and Bengal in 1914. He distributed food and clothes to victims himself. He was released two days after the earthquake of Bihar. He also founded Quetta Central Relief Committee in Punjab during Quetta earthquake.
9. He contributed greatly to the development of the nation as the President-
As the President of India, he duly acted as per the constitution. Rajendra Prasad travelled the world extensively as an ambassador of India, building diplomatic rapport with foreign nations. He was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1962.
10. Rajendra Smriti Sangrahalaya in Patna is dedicated to him-
Rajendra Smriti Sangrahalaya is a small biographical museum and a heritage building dedicated to the life and works of Dr Rajendra Prasad. To mark his 125th birth anniversary, Reserve Bank of India had coined rs. 5 coin having his photo and name at the back of the coin.
He was a true representative of Indian culture. He is remembered even today for his simplicity and modesty. He will always remain one of India’s most respected and loved leaders, honoured for his selfless dedication to the country.
Quote of the day:We Generate Fears While We Sit. We Overcome Them By Action. – Dr. Henry Link