The 28th of February 2017 marks the 54th death anniversary of the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Born on the 3rd of December in the year 1884, Dr. Rajendra Prasad has been a significant personality in history for becoming the first president of independent India, and also for serving as the president of the Indian Congress in the years 1939 and 1943, and also as the president of the Constituent Assembly.
Youngest amongst all his siblings, he was brilliant academically, and learnt Persian, Hindi and arithmetic at a very young age under the guidance of a moulavi, who is known to be an exceptionally accomplished Muslim scholar. He got married by the age of 12 and the name of his wife was Rajvanshi Devi.Rajendra Prasad was an intellectual since his childhood, topping the University of Calcutta’s entrance exam, and earning an every month scholarship of Rs. 30 during those days. He got admitted in the Presidency College of Calcutta in the science stream and secured first division marks. In fact, one of his examiners was so impressed by his intelligence that in one of Prasad’s answer sheets, the examiner had commented ‘’Examinee is better than examiner.’’ After pursuing science, Prasad’s interest shifted to arts and economics, hence, he got a degree of MA in Economics from the University of Calcutta, where too he attained first division marks.
He joined the Swadeshi Movement on his elder brother’s insistence and was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership and guidance to lead India to attain independence. Under Gandhi’s guidance and influence, Prasad decided to lead a more simplified life than the luxurious one he was blessed with. He reduced his number of servants, started doing his own day to day chores and also washed utensils.
He devoted and dedicated himself to India’s freedom struggle and was an active entity during the Non-cooperation movement. After serving as the country’s president for 12 years, he was awarded with DeshRatna award in the year 1962. He breathed his last on the 28th of February in the year 1963.
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