Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the First President of India – Essay
Rajendra Prasad also played a crucial role in the Indian Freedom Struggle. He met Mahatma Gandhi at the Lucknow Pact in 1996 and joined him in his movements such as the fact-finding missions in Cahmparan and the Non-Cooperation movement. As soon as the motion for Indian National Congress was passed in 1920, Rajendra Prasad left his profession as a lawyer and joined hands with freedom fighters to fight against the British invasion in India. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment due to his active involvement in Salt Satyagrah. He was imprisoned in 1934 and when he was released he formed the Bihar Central Relief Committee following the earthquake that occurred on 15th January 1934 when he was in jail. He raised funds to help the people. During the Bombay session in 1934, he was elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. He again became the president in 1939, when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned in 1939.
On August 8, 1942 many leaders including Rajendra Prasad were arrested after Congress passed the Quit India Movement Resolution in Bombay. Rajendra Prasad was arrested from the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna after which he was imprisoned In the Bankipur jail. After 3 years of imprisonment he was released in 1945. In September, 1946, he became the minister of the Food and Agriculture department under Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership. Later, in December 1946, he was elected as the president of the Constituent Assembly.
The struggle of freedom fighters finally paid off and India was declared as an independent State on 15th August 1947. In November, 1947 Dr. Rajendra Prasad again became the Congress president following the resignation of Jivatram Kripalani for the third time. After two and a half year of Independence he was declared as the first President of free India, on 26th January 1950.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of Independent India, in his special message to his countrymen, on the birth of the Indian Republic, said:
“We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realization of the dream that had inspired the Father of our Nation and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, co-operative, free and happy society in ‘his country’. We must remember that this is more a day of dedications than of rejoicing – dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured.”
After serving the nation for 12 years, Rajendra Prasad announced his decision to retire. In May 1962, he went back to Bihar Vidyapeeth and stayed there. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna Award in the same year. But, on 28 February 1963, the nation bid adieu to this eminent and bright personality as he left the people in grief for his heavenly abode.
The contribution of Dr. Rajendra Prasad to the country cannot be stated in words. Not just to the country, but he also contributed to the literary society with the following literary contributions – Satyagraha at Champaran, India Divided, Atmakatha (his autobiography), Bapu Ke Kadmon Mein and Since Independence.