When America was independent, George Washington became its first president. His name is even now a household word in America. India also has been made free from the British rule. Dr. Rajendra Prasad has been the first president of the Republic of India. We hope his name will be also a household word in India as the first president of the Indian Republic.
Rajendra Prasad was born on the 3rd December, 1884 at Jiradei 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 had passed the B.A. and M.A. examinations of the University of Calcutta from the Presidency College of Calcutta in 1906 and 1907 respectively. He obtained the B.A. degree with honours in English and History. Then he passed the B.L. examination. In 1925, he passed the M.L. examination. Later Calcutta University conferred on him the honorary degree of D.L. in recognition of his knowledge of law.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad started his life as Professor of English in G.B.B. College, Muzaffarpur 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-co-operation movement. In 1920, he joined the non-co-operation movementand gave up legal practice. Since then he has dedicated his life to the service of the motherland and has struggled hard in the fight for the freedom of India.
Rajendra Prasad loved his country even when he was a 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 served his motherland in various ways. He was a prominent member of the youth movement of Bihar and leader of the Bihar student;s conference. He was a member of the Senate of the Patna University for several years. He was twice President of the 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 Congree 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 was minister for food and Agriculture in the Indian Interim Government and first Indian government after Independence. He had been chairman of the Indian Constituent Assembly since its formation in December, 1946. On January 26, 1950, India was declared a republic state and Rajendra Prasad became its first President. He still occupies that honourable position with great credit to him. Thus Rajendra Prasad has a long and brilliant record of service to his motherland in various ways and capacities.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad has many noble qualities. He is a man of sterling chracter. His glowing patriotism, his selfless devotion to country's cause, his honesty and sincerity, his firmness of mind are worthy of imitation. He did not care for personal gain so he gave up legal practise and threw himself heart and soul into the struggle for the freedom of India. He became a stauch follower of Mahatma Gandhi so he sincerely followed the policy of non-voilence in the struggle for freedom. He had to court imprisonment for several times in the country's cause. He is a man of plain living and high thinking. He is a friend of the common people. We know of his splendid service to the people of Bihar when a terrible earthquake devastated a greater part of Bihar in 1934. Though he has received English education, he is a true Indian in manners and customs and mode of living. So he firmly supports many time-honoured ideals of this ancient land of ours.
Rajendra Prasad now holds the highest position of honour in India by virtue of his own merit. He has risen to this position from an humble life. His life is an inspiration to the young men of this country.
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