The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, was born on this day in 1884. Prasad was a lawyer, teacher, writer and India's freedom fighter.
An examiner from Kolkata was looking at Prasad’s exam sheet when the latter was a student at Presidency College and after observing his work, he had said, "the examinee is better than the examiner".
On Prasad’s birth anniversary on Thursday (December 3), few lesser-known facts about him:
- Rajendra Prasad as a child was taught by a Maulavi (Muslim scholar), because his father wanted his son to learn the Persian language, Hindi as well as math.
- Prasad played a key role in shaping the Bihari Students Conference in 1906 at the hall of Patna College.
- A gold medallist, Prasad was an English professor at a Bihar college but later pursued a degree in law.
- While studying law, Prasad taught at a university in Kolkata. He also went on to do his doctorate later in Law from Allahabad University.
- He completed his Doctorate in 1937.
- He played a significant role in shaping the Indian Constitution.
- He was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and was jailed multiple times by the British. In 1931, during the Salt Satyagraha Movement and in 1942, for participating in the Quit India Movement.
- He was unanimously elected the President of India of the interim government during the last session of the Constituent Assembly.
- He was the President of India from 1950 to 1962.
- Prasad stepped down after being the president for two terms, in 1962.
- In 1962, he was awarded the highest civilian award – Bharat Ratna.
- During Indian Independence Movement, Dr Rajendra Prasad joined the Indian National Congress.