Rajendra Prasad and Indian National Movement
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of Independent India. He made enoromous contribution to the nation . He was a well-known leader in the Indian nationalist movement along with Vallabhbhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Jawarharlal Nehru. Rajendra Prasad was one of those people that was inspired by a strong desire to achieve who left a lucrative advocacy profession to pursue a greater goal of achieving independence for the motherland. He pledged to design the constitution of the nascent nation after indepence in the Constituent Assembly. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was one of the leading craftsmen who shaped the Indian Republic.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Role in Nationalist Movement:
- Rajendra Prasad had gradually entered the political arena. He was a volunteer at the Indian National Congress's Calcutta session in 1906, and he officially joined the party in 1911, later becoming its President.
- Rajendra Prasad was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's commitment and ideology, and he backed Champaran Satyagraha wholeheartedly. In 1920, when Gandhi announced to launch the Non-Cooperation Movement, Rajendra Prasad renounced his lucrative profession and devoted himself to the freedom movement.
- He led non-cooperation programs in Bihar, toured the state and held a number of public meetings and influenced people with effective speeches for support. He collected money to maintain the continuity of the movement. He convinced people to boycott government schools, colleges and offices.
- In 1921, he established the National College in Patna. To urge people to boycott foreign goods, he encouraged people to run spinning wheel wear only khadi garments.
- Rejendra Prasad was elected as President of Indian National Congress of Bombay session in 1934. He was elected for the second time in 1939 when Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from the post. Rajendra Prasad third term as the President of the congress Party was in 1947 when JB kriplani resigned.
Role in Quit India Movement:
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a key figure in Quit India Movement started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942. He led protests in Bihar (especially Patna) demanding for freedom. The nationwide uproar provoked the British government to mass arrest all influential congress leaders. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was Sadaqat Ashram in Patna and sent to Bankipur Central Jail, where he was imprisoned for 3 years. He was later released on 15 June 1945.Rajendra Prasad lived his life in a simplified Gandhian way.
First President of Independent India:
Rajendra Prasad was elected as the Minister of Food and Agriculture in the Interim Government led by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946. He was soon elected President of the Constituent Assembly on 11 December 1946. Rajendra Prasad presided over the Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1949 and helped in framing the Constitution of India. On 26 January 1950, the Indian Republic came into existence and he was elected as the first President of the country. As the President of India, he complied with his duties by remaining politically neutral. He visited several countries as the President of India and forged diplomatic relations. He was elected President for 2 consecutive terms in 1952 and 1957.
In 1962, Dr. Rajendra Prasad honoured with India’s highest civilian award “Bharat Ratna” of India for his political and social contribution for the nation.
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