Dr. Rajendra Prasad: The Brilliant Student who became India’s first President

Indians are among the most intelligent people in the world and have contributed significantly to numerous fields of study. Surprisingly, politics in India is often infested with corruption and nepotism. Consequently, at times we’ve had unqualified and illiterate leaders taking charge of stately duties. That said, India has indeed seen a fair share of highly qualified and educated political leaders—Manmohan Singh being a case in point. One such brilliant leader was Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who with his sheer intelligence and qualification became the first president of the independent India.

What was so special about Dr Rajendra Prasad and why was he his teachers’ favourite? Read on to find out!

A gifted scholar

Born in the Siwan District of Bihar, Rajendra Prasad was highly influenced by his parents. His father was a pundit of Sanskrit and Persian languages, who assigned him a Moulavi (a Muslim scholar). After finishing his elementary education under the guidance of a Moulavi, he was sent to a district school. Prasad got married at the age of 12 (which is illegal now but was a common practice back then) and after finishing his school, he scored first rank in the entrance examination of University of Calcutta and was awarded scholarship of Rs.30 per month, a huge sum in those days. At the age of 18, he joined Presidency College and did his bachelors in science. He continued to score excellent marks in his exams and always impressed his teachers.

“Examinee better than examiner”

Once, in an exam there were 10 questions and the students were to solve any 5. Prasad attempted all 10 and wrote on his answer sheet “Check any 5”. Now that’s something!

The examiner was so impressed by Prasad’s answers that he commented “Examinee is better than examiner”. Later Prasad studied arts and did his masters from the University of Calcutta and went on to study further.

A public activist

Dr Prasad was not only an intelligent student but also a social activist. He was an avid member of various societies promoting education and Indian views. One society he participated actively in was The Dawn Society— a Bengali educational society. He, along with Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh and other prominent Indian philosophers, promoted Indian heritage, achievements and success with the help of The Dawn Society. It’s for these societies and passion for serving the people that he grew up to become a sturdy leader of the nation.

A teacher, lawyer and finally, India’s first President

After his masters, Dr. Prasad became a professor of English at a college in Bihar and then became the principal of the same college. However, later he left the college and pursued legal studies. While studying law, he also worked as a professor of Economics at Calcutta City College. He took the examination in Masters of law and ended up winning a gold medal for excelling in the exams. Later, he did his doctorate in Law from Allahabad University.

Dr Prasad started practicing law at Bhagalpur and in 1911, he joined the Indian National Congress. After a few years he met Mahatma Gandhi and was deeply influenced by him. In 1920, he retired as a lawyer and actively participated in the Independence Movement.

He travelled to places within India and informed people about the Independence movement. In 1934, he was elected as the president of Indian National Congress. After participating in many more revolutionary movements and helping people throughout India, he was finally made the first president of independent India in 1950.

Dr Prasad was unquestionably a bright student and even a better president who led nation to growth and prosperity. What do you’ve to say about this brilliant student who went on to became country’s first president? Let us know in the comments below.

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