Dr Rajendra Prasad was the first president of independent India and his birth anniversary is observed on 3 December. This year marks his 137th birth anniversary. He is the only Indian President to have been re-elected for two consecutive terms, in 1952 and 1957. Dr Rajendra Prasad was conferred with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1962.
He was a freedom fighter, teacher and lawyer. He was also an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi.
Dr Rajendra Prasad’s father hired a Maulavi to teach him Persian. He was a professor of English at a college in Bihar before pursuing a career in law. He was instrumental in establishing the 'Bihari Student's Conference' in 'Patna College Hall' in 1906.
In 1917 he was a part of a campaign to better the plight of Bihar’s peasants, who were being oppressed by British indigo planters. He was an active participant of 'Satyagraha Movement' and the 'Quit India Movement' and was therefore imprisoned by the Britishers during India's freedom struggle. While he was imprisoned in Bankipur Jail for three years, he wrote his autobiography, 'Atmakatha'.
After independence, Prasad was a crucial member in drafting India's constitution. Dr Rajendra Prasad died on February 28, 1963, at the age of 78.
Quotes given by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first president of independent India:
"Nobody can push me aside."
"In attaining our ideals, our means should be as pure as the end."
"We must remember all those people who sacrifice their lives for freedom."
"More importantly, I also understand my age and am in a better position to appreciate it."
"What is wrong in theory is not right in practice also."
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