Who was Dr. Rajendra Prasad?
Rajendra Prasad (3 December 1884 – 28 February 1963) was an Indian independence activist, lawyer, scholar and subsequently, the first president of India, in office from 1950 to 1962. He was an Indian political leader and lawyer by training.
Early life of Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Rajendra Prasad was born in a Kayastha family in Ziradei, in the Siwan district of Bihar.
Prasad was instrumental in the formation of the Bihari Students Conference in 1906 in the hall of Patna College.
Political career of Dr. Rajendra Prasad
In 1917, Prasad was greatly moved by the spirited leadership of Gandhi in the Champaran Satyagraha, organised to liberate the indigo planters from exploitation at the hands of the British. Three years later, when the Non-Cooperation movement was officially passed by Indian National Congress in 1920 in response to the Rowlatt Act (1918) Prasad forfeited his flourishing law practice in Calcutta to join the political struggle full time.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad: Political Career
While studying in Calcutta, Rajendra Prasad first became involved with the Indian National Congress during the 1906 annual session, as a volunteer. He officially joined the Indian National Congress in 1911, when the annual session was held in Calcutta once more.
In October 1934, he was elected President of the Indian National Congress during the Bombay session.When Subhash Chandra Bose resigned in 1939, he was re-elected president.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad as President of India
On January 26, 1950, two and a half years after India’s independence, the Constitution of Independent India was ratified, and Rajendra Prasad was elected the country’s first President.
As India’s ambassador, he travelled widely around the world, establishing diplomatic relations with foreign countries.In 1952 and 1957, he was re-elected for two consecutive terms, making him India’s first two-term president.
Legacy of Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian award in the year 1962. Government of India also issued a stamp in his honour in 1962.