On 3rd December 2018, nation remembered India’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad on his 134th birthday. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born on December 3, 1884, in Siwan, Bihar. He was an Indian freedom fighter and was a lawyer by profession. A prominent personality who greatly contributed to our national freedom struggle, he was sworn in as the President of independent India and went on to become the longest-serving head of state for 12 years. Desh Ratna was an honorary title given to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who was the first president of our country. Desh Ratna literally translates to ‘jewel of the nation’.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born into a big joint family in Ziradei village of Siwan district near Chhapra of Bihar. His father, Mahadev Sahay was a scholar of Persian and Sanskrit language while his mother Kamleshwari Devi was a religious lady. At the age of 12, Rajendra Prasad was married to Rajavanshi Devi. The couple had one son, Mrityunjay. In 1907, Rajendra Prasad passed with a Gold medal in the master’s degree in economics from University of Calcutta. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was instrumental in the formation of the Bihari Students’ Conference in 1908.
Post his post-graduation, he joined as a Professor of English at the Langat Singh College of Muzaffarpur, Bihar and later became its Principal. He left the job in 1909 and came to Calcutta to pursue a degree in Law. He completed his master’s in law during 1915. He then went on to pursue a Doctorate degree in Law from the Allahabad University. He started his law practice at the Calcutta High Court in 1911. In 1916, Rajendra Prasad joined the Patna High Court after its establishment.
Rajendra Prasad officially joined the Indian National Congress in 1911, during its annual session held in Calcutta. He was one of the prominent leaders of the Indian Nationalist Movement alongside Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was one of those passionate individuals who gave up a lucrative profession to pursue a greater goal of attaining freedom for the Motherland. He took up the helms of designing the Constitution of the nascent nation by heading up the Constituent Assembly post-independence. Dr. Prasad was one of the chief architects in shaping the Republic of India.