Born: December 3, 1884
Passed Away: February 28, 1963
Prasad was a great leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement and also
one of the architects of the Indian Constitution. He was elected as the
first President of Republic of India. Rajendra Prasad was a crucial
leader of the Indian Independence Movement, who left his lucrative
profession to participate in the nationalist movement of India. He was
also awarded with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. on 28
February, 1963, following a brief illness, the great soul passed away.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born into a big joint family of Mahadev Sahay
in the Siwan district of Bihar, near Chhapra. His father, Mahadev Sahay
was a scholar of Persian and Sanskrit language while his mother
Kamleshwari Devi was a religious lady.
When Rajendra Prasad was five years old, his parents put him under a
Maulavi learn Persian language followed by Hindi and arithmetic. After
the completion of traditional elementary education, Rajendra Prasad was
sent to the Chhapra District School. At the age of 12, Rajendra Prasad
was married to Rajavanshi Devi. He, along with his elder brother
Mahendra Prasad, then went on to study at R.K. Ghosh's Academy in Patna.
Mahendra was eight years older than him.
Since childhood, Rajendra Prasad was a brilliant student. He stood
first in the entrance examination to the University of Calcutta and was
awarded Rs.30 per month as scholarship. In 1902, Rajendra Prasad joined
the Presidency College. He was initially a student of science and his
teachers included J.C.Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy. Later he decided to
switch his focus to the arts. Prasad lived with his brother in the Eden
Hindu Hostel. A plaque still commemorates his stay in that room. Dr.
Rajendra Prasad was instrumental in the formation of the Bihari
Students' Conference in 1908. It was the first organization of its kind
in the whole of India. The move produced the entire political leadership
of the twenties in Bihar
In 1915, Rajendra Prasad passed with a Gold medal in Masters in Law
examination with honors. He then went on to complete his Doctorate in
Law. Rajendra Prasad used to practice his Law & studies at Bhagalpur
in Bihar and eventually emerged as a popular and eminent figure of the
entire region. In 1916, Rajendra Prasad joined the High Court of Bihar
and Orissa. Such was his intellect and his integrity, that often when
his adversary failed to cite a precedent, the judges asked Rajendra
Prasad to cite a precedent against himself.
1911, during his stay in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as a legal practitioner,
Rajendra Prasad joined the Indian National Congress Party and was
subsequently elected to the AICC. During the Champaran movement, Mahatma
Gandhi asked Rajendra Prasad to visit Champaran along with the other
volunteers and partisans of the Indian National Congress. Initially
Rajendra Prasad was not impressed with Gandhiji's appearance and
conversation but deeply moved by the dedication, conviction and courage
Rajendra Prasad also responded to the call of Mahatma Gandhi to boycott
Western education. He asked his son Mrityunjaya Prasad, a brilliant
student to leave the University and enroll himself in Bihar Vidyapeeth.
He would write articles for magazines like "Searchlight" and "Desh".
When the earthquake of Bihar occurred on January 15, 1934, Rajendra
Prasad was in jail. He was released two days later. He set himself for
the task of raising funds and collected over Rs 38 Lakhs. Nationalist
India expressed its admiration by electing Rajendra Prasad as the
President of the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress Party in
In July 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was established to frame
the Constitution of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected its
President. And, eventually he was also elected as the first President of
Republic of India. Unfortunately, on the night of 25 January 1950, a day
before the Republic Day of India, his sister Bhagwati Devi passed away.
He set about the cremation but only after his return from the parade
In September 1962, Rajendra Prasad's wife Rajavanshi Devi passed away.
The incident helped in the deterioration of his health and after
suffering from brief illness for around six months on February 28, 1963,
Dr. Prasad expired. Rajendra Prasad spent the last few months of his
life in retirement at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. Rajendra Prasad was
awarded with "Bharat Ratna", the nation's highest civilian