Dr. Rajendra Prasad, a statesman and social worker, was the first President of the Republic of India. He was a great educationist and a man of world fame. He was an author too.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born on 3rd December, 1884 at Saran District in Bihar. His educational career was very bright. He stood first in the Entrance Examination of Kolkata University in 1902.
He also stood first in M.A. and L.L.B. Examinations. After passing Law he started his practice at Patna High Court. His practice was very roaring and he achieved a great success as a lawyer. He earned a lot by his practice, but he always spent a considerable part of his income on the welfare of people. He was married to Rajbansi Devi, who was also a very simple lady.
The atmosphere of the village where he was brought up was very simple. Far away from the crowded cities, in the lap of Mother Nature, in peace and purity of life, he passed his dhood.
The simple sports, the simple dress, the simple behaviour of villagers, the co-existence of Hindus and Muslims, the Ram Lila celebrations every year, the stories of Ramayana and the hymns of God which were recited by his mother all had a pious and lasting effect on his mind. So he remained very simple, peace-loving, religious and believer in Hindu Muslim unity.
Dr. Prasad joined Gokhale's Servant of India Society and began to do the work of social service. He started his political career as a social worker. He came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi since the Champaran Satyagraha of 1918. He came in the light when he took sincere part in Champaran Satyagraha.
The ghastly massacre of Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar on April 13, 1919 deeply perturbed Rajendra Babu. Due to his selfless service he was called "Bihar Ka Bapu". He was sent to prison from time to time. He bore punishments happily. He struggled bravely.
Throughout his life he followed the principle of 'simple living and high thinking. When India declared a sovereign Republic, he was elected President of it and adored the post for two successive terms. He was the most uncontroversial figure in the Indian politics.
Under his presidentship the country made all round progress and prosperity. Even in Rashrapati Bhawan he led the life of simple man. He was a true Gandhian, who always followed his high valued principles at every step.
In 1962 he was at the age of 78. His health was deteriorating fast and therefore he handed over the charge of presedent to Sarvapalli Dr. Radhakrishnan and came to Patna to spend the rest of his life peacefully at Sadaquat Ashram the place from where he had started his political life. But Rajendra Babu could not live there for long. On February 28, 1963 he breathed his last. His death was a great loss for the nation.
People were shocked to hear this sad news. Now he is not among us but his high principles amd ideals are still alive to show us the right path. We should take now to follow them at every step in our life. That will be the right tribute to the great soul. His simplicity seems to be very relevant today. Perhaps it was his extreme simplicity that brought to him the title of Deshratna. He was confirmed on Bharat Ratna in 1962.