- Name : Dr. Rajendra Prasad
- Date of Birth : Dec 03, 1884
- Passed Away On : Feb 28, 1963
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : Siwan, Bihar
- Address : Siwan, Bihar
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Rajendra Prasad was the first President of the Republic of India. He was also a lawyer and was an active participant in the Indian Independence Movement. He became a prominent leader of Indian National Congress.
Rajendra Prasad was born in a Hindu Kayastha family at Zeradai in the Siwan District of Bihar. His father was Mahadev Sahai, who was a scholar of both Persian and Sanskrit languages. His mother was Kamleshwari Devi. She was a very religious lady.
His life as a Student
At the age of five, Prasad was under the guidance of a Moulavi (a Muslim Scholar) who taught him Persian language, Arithmetic and Hindi. When he completed his elementary education, his parents sent him to a school in the Chapra district.
He, along with his elder brother Mahendra Prasad, went on to study at T.K. Ghosh's Academy in Patna for a period of two years. Also, he was ranked first in the entrance examination to the University of Calcutta and was awarded a scholarship of Rs. 30 per month.
Prasad joined the Presidency College, Calcutta in the year 1902. He passed Intermediate level classes then called as F. A. under the University of Calcutta in March 1904. He graduated with First Division from there itself in March 1905.
Later he decided to focus on the study of arts and did his M.A. in Economics with first division from the University of Calcutta in December 1907. He was an active member of The Dawn Society.
He refused to join Servants of India Society due to his sense of duty towards his family and education. He played an instrumental role in the formation of the Bihari Students Conference in the year 1906 in the hall of the Patna College. It was the first organization of its kind in India.
While he was still in school, Rajendra Prasad was married to Rajavanshi Devi at the age of 12 years in June 1896.
As a teacher
Rajendra Prasad served as a teacher in various educational institutions. After completing his M.A in economics, he became a professor of English at the Langat Singh College of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Later on he went on to become the principal of that institution.
However, he left the college as he was going to pursue legal studies. In the year 1909, while pursuing his law studies in Kolkata he also worked as a Professor of Economics at Calcutta City College.
Further, in the year 1915, Prasad passed in the examination of Masters in Law and won a gold medal for the same. He completed his Doctorate in Law from Allahabad University in the year 1937.
In the year 1916, he joined the High Court of Bihar and Odisha (Earlier Orissa). In the following year i.e.1917, he was appointed as one of the first members of the Senate and Syndicate of the Patna University. He also used to practice law at Bhagalpur in Bihar.
His Role in Indian Independence
Prasad came into association with the Indian National Congress in the year 1906 when the annual session was organised in Calcutta (present day Kolkata).He participated as a volunteer during this session.
He joined INC formally in the year 1911 when the annual session was held again in Calcutta. It was during Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress in the year 1916 that Prasad met Mahatma Gandhi.
He was so inspired by Mahatma Gandhi that when the motion of Non-Cooperation was passed by Indian National Congress in the year 1920, he retired as a lawyer and gave up his legal duties and participated in the movement.
On 8 August 1942, Congress passed the Quit India Resolution in Bombay which led to the arrest of many Indian leaders. Prasad too was arrested from Sadaqat Ashram, Patna and was sent to Bankipur Central Jail. He remained there for nearly three years, and was finally released on 15 June 1945.
He died on 28 February 1963. There is Rajendra Smriti Sangrahalaya in Patna that is dedicated to him.