Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President of the Constituent Assembly and the first President of independent India from 1950 to 1962.
Rajendra Prasad's Timeline
He was born on 3rd December 1884 in the Siwan district of Bihar. After completing his Masters degree in Economics from the University of Calcutta in 1907, he went on to study law at the Calcutta Law College and practiced at the Calcutta High Court. Later, he transferred to the Patna High Court where he founded the Bihar Law Weekly.
Involvement in India’s independence movement:
Prasad gave up his legal career to join the independence movement in 1920 and was imprisoned during the Salt Satyagraha in 1931 and the Quit India movement in 1942. In 1911 he became a member of the Indian National Congress and served as its President thrice.
Key contribution in Constitution Making:
In 1946, Rajendra Prasad joined the Interim Government of India as the Minister of Food and Agriculture. As a firm believer in the maximization of agricultural production he crafted the slogan “Grow More Food.” He was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly from the Bihar Province where he served as the president of the Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1950.
During this time, he was also the chairman of four committees. He was always admired for his qualities of objectivity, impartiality, patience and intellect in his role as the President of the Assembly. On 24th January 1950, at the last session of the Constituent Assembly, Prasad was elected as the President of India and has the distinction of being the only President to have been re-elected for a second term.
Prasad wrote many books in English and Hindi and was well-versed in Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu, and English. Two of his most popular works are Atmakatha (1946), his autobiography and India Divided (1946). In the early 1920s, he became the editor of a Hindi weekly Desh and an English biweekly, Searchlight.
Life after retirement:
After retiring from public life in 1962 because of his deteriorating health, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna. After spending his last days in Sadaqat Ashram of Patna he died on 28th February 1963.