On his 135th birth anniversary, remembering Rajendra Prasad, a teacher, journalist, lawyer, politician who served India as the President for three terms
New Delhi: Today (December 3) is the 135th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna recipient, first President of India, Rajendra Prasad.
Prasad was born in Zeradai, Bihar, on December 3, 1884. A teacher and lawyer by profession and journalist by passion, he also played a vital role in freedom struggle and served the country as a diligent politician.
Here are the great milestones achieved by Prasad in his life before passing away on February 28, 1963.
Prasad graduated in Science from Presidency College in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1905. But later he decided to continue his education in the Arts stream and majored in Economics and completed MA in 1907 from the University of Calcutta.
Prasad took up teaching as his profession after completing MA. He was appointed as a professor of English at the Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur in Bihar. He was later promoted as the principal.
But soon, he took interest in learning law and got admission in the Ripon College, Calcutta (now known as Surendranath Law College). He wrote the test for Masters in Law in 1915 and won a gold medal.
After completing the course, Prasad joined the Bihar high court and also served in Odisha in 1916. Then, he also practiced law at Bhagalpur in Bihar.
He completed his doctorate in law from Allahabad University in 1937.
As he was pursuing his studies and working as a teacher and then practicing law, he started getting involved in India’s freedom struggle. Especially the non co-operation movement attracted him. In 1906, he actively took part in one of the events of freedom struggle in Calcutta.
He joined Indian National Congress in 1911. He was invited by Mahatma Gandhi to campaign for his non co-operation movement 1916.
To get completely involved in the movement, he quit practicing law in the year 1920.
He also turned journalist and wrote articles for the revolutionary publications Searchlight and the Desh during the freedom struggle.
He became the president of Indian National Congress in 1934, again in 1939 (When Subhas Chandra Bose resigned) and then again in 1947 (when JB Kripalani quit the post). During the Quit India movement, he was arrested and sent to Bankimpur Central jail for three years.
After his release from jail on 1945, he was appointed as food and agriculture minister in the interim government formed in 1946.
He was elected as the President of India on January 26, 1950 after independence. Rajendra Prasad has the honour of being the first President of India.
He was re-elected as President of India for two more consecutive terms in 1952 and 1957.
He is the only President to serve three terms as the President of India. After being the President of India for 12 years, he resigned in 1962 due to ill-health. He wrote an autobiography titled Atmakatha.
He was awarded Bharat Ratna by the Indian government in 1962.
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Last Updated Dec 3, 2019, 3:03 PM IST