SIWAN-District of First President of India


SIWAN-District of First President of India

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Dr. Rajendra Prasad (The First President of India)

Dr. Rajendra Prasad The First President of India
Name : Dr.Rajendra Prasad
Father's Name : Sri Mahadev Sahai
Date of Birth : 3 Decemeber, 1884
Birth Place : Zeradei, Siwan, Bihar
Date of Demise : 28 February, 1963

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, son of Mahadev Sahai, was born in Zeradei, Siwan, Bihar on December 3, 1884. Being the youngest in a large joint family he was greatly loved. He was strongly attached to his mother and elder brother Mahendra. In Zeradei's diverse population, people lived together in considerable harmony. His earliest memories were of playing "Kabaddi" with his Hindu and Muslim friends alike. In keeping with the old customs of his village and family, he was married when he was barely 12 years old to Rajvanshi Devi.
He was a brilliant student; standing first in the entrance examination to the University of Calcutta, he was awarded a Rs.30/month scholarship. He joined the famed Calcutta Presidency College in 1902. His scholarship, ironically, would pose the first test of his patriotism. Gopal Krishna Gokhale had started the Servants of India Society in 1905 and asked him to join. So strong was his sense of duty toward his family and education that he, after much deliberation, refused Gokhale. But the decision would not rest easy on him. He recalled, "I was miserable" and for the first time in his life his performance in academia declined, and he barely cleared his law examinations.

Having made his choice, however, he set aside the intruding thoughts, and focused on his studies with renewed vigor. In 1915, He passed the Masters in Law examination with honors, winning a gold medal. Subsequently, he completed his Doctorate in Law as well.

As an accomplished lawyer, however, he realized it would be only a matter of time before he would be caught up in the turmoil of the fight for independence. While Gandhiji was on a fact finding mission in Chamaparan district of Bihar to address grievances of local peasants, he called on Dr. Rajendra Prasad to come to Champaran with volunteers. He rushed to Champaran. Initially he was not impressed with Gandhiji's appearance or conversation. In time, however, he was deeply moved by the dedication, conviction and courage that Gandhiji displayed. Here was a man alien of the parts, who had made the cause of the people of Champaran his own. He decided that he would do everything he could to help, with his skills as a lawyer and as an enthusiastic volunteer.

Gandhiji's influence greatly altered many of his views, most importantly on caste and untouchability. Gandhiji made Dr. Rajendra Prasad realize that the nation, working for a common cause, "became of one caste, namely co-workers." He reduced the number of servants he had to one, and sought ways to simplify his life. He no longer felt shame in sweeping the floor, or washing his own utensils, tasks he had all along assumed others would do for him.

Whenever the people suffered, he was present to help reduce the pain. In 1914 floods ravaged Bihar and Bengal. He became a volunteer distributing food and cloth to the flood victims. In 1934, Bihar was shaken by an earthquake, which caused immense damage and loss of property. The quake, devastating by itself, was followed by floods and an outbreak of malaria which heightened misery. He dove right in with relief work, collecting food, clothes and medicine. His experiences here led to similar efforts elsewhere too. In 1935, an earthquake hit Quetta. He was not allowed to lend a hand because of Government restrictions. Nevertheless, he set up relief committees in Sind and Punjab for the homeless victims who flocked there.

Dr. Prasad called for non-cooperation in Bihar as part of Gandhiji's non-cooperation movement. He gave up his law practice and started a National College near Patna, 1921. The college was later shifted to Sadaqat Ashram on the banks of the Ganga. The non-cooperation movement in Bihar spread like wildfire. Dr. Prasad toured the state, holding public meeting after another, collecting funds and galvanizing the nation for a complete boycott of all schools, colleges and Government offices. He urged the people to take to spinning and wear only khadi. Bihar and the entire nation was taken by storm, the people responded to the leaders' call. The machinery of the mighty British Raj was coming to a grinding halt. The British India Government utilized the one and only option at its disposal-force. Mass arrests were made. Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das and Maulana Azad were arrested. Then it happened. Peaceful non- cooperation turned to violence in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh. In light of the events at Chauri Chaura, Gandhiji suspended the civil disobedience movement. The entire nation was hushed. A murmur of dissent began within the top brass of the Congress. Gandhiji was criticized for what was called the "Bardoli retreat."

He stood by his mentor, seeing the wisdom behind Gandhiji's actions. Gandhiji did not want to set a precedent of violence for free India. In March 1930, Gandhiji launched the Salt Satyagraha. He planned to march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi seashore to break the salt laws. A salt Satyagraha was launched in Bihar under Dr. Prasad. Nakhas Pond in Patna was chosen as the site of the Satyagraha. Batch after batch of volunteers courted arrest while making salt. Many volunteers were injured. He called for more volunteers. Public opinion forced the Government to withdraw the police and allow the volunteers to make salt. He then sold the manufactured salt to raise funds. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

His service on the various fronts of the movement for independence raised his profile considerably. He presided over the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress in October 1934. Following the resignation of Subhash Chandra Bose as the President of the Congress in April 1939, He was elected President. He did his best to heal the rifts created between the incompatible ideologies of Subhash Chandra Bose and Gandhiji. Rabindranath Tagore wrote to him, "I feel assured in my mind that your personality will help to soothe the injured souls and bring peace and unity into an atmosphere of mistrust and chaos..."

As the freedom struggle progressed, the dark shadow of communalism which had always lurked in the background, steadily grew. To his dismay communal riots began spontaneously burst all over the nation and in Bihar. He rushed from one scene to another to control the riots. Independence was fast approaching and so was the prospect of partition. Dr. Prasad, who had such fond memories of playing with his Hindu and Muslim friends in Zeradei, now had the misfortune of witnessing the nation being ripped into two.

In July 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was established to frame the Constitution of India, he was elected its President. Two and a half years after independence, on January 26, 1950, the Constitution of independent India was ratified and he was elected the nation's first President. Dr. Prasad transformed the imperial splendor of Rashtrapati Bhavan into an elegant "Indian" home. He visited many countries on missions of goodwill, as the new state sought to establish and nourish new relationships. He stressed the need for peace in a nuclear age.

In 1962, after 12 years as President, Dr. Prasad retired, and was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award. With the many tumults of his vigorous and accomplished life, he recorded his life and the decades before independence in many books, among the more noted of which are "Satyagraha at Champaran" (1922), "India Divided" (1946), his autobiography "Atmakatha" (1946), "Mahatma Gandhi and Bihar, Some Reminisences" (1949), and "Bapu ke Kadmon Mein" (1954).

Dr. Rajendra Prasad spent the last few months of his life in retirement at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. He died on February 28, 1963. In her first citizen, India had imagined a life of possibilities, and seen an unsurpassed dedication to making them real.

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Comment by Bashir Alam on November 30, 2010 at 8:13pm
अब हमनी के एक दूसरा से जुड़ के फेर से आपन बिहार के गरिमा के हिफाज़त करे के चाहीं
Comment by irshad ahmad on November 28, 2010 at 10:46pm
Hi, freinds i love my siwan city nd proud to be born in siwan i love it.............
nw i m employe of saudi arab i missing more to my home city.........
Comment by Engr. feeroj ahmed on November 28, 2010 at 7:01pm
I like that Md Azmatullah Comments.
Comment by mukesh kumar on February 12, 2010 at 10:02pm
my self mukesh kumar every friends in this site please mail me or and rashmi madam u r genius u r toooo good madam because u have give u a chance to all the bihari person communicate with us and share our views thanks.
Comment by mukesh kumar on February 12, 2010 at 9:56pm
bihar is the tooooooooooo goooooooood place in our countery because every person in this area has every guest behave like a god.
Comment by DURGESH RAI on January 24, 2010 at 1:42am
I would like to have a look to this holy place whenever I find free time. As being in Defense Services I use to move around the country.
Comment by Nikhil.Chouhan on January 16, 2010 at 3:33pm
I am nikhil chouhan
Comment by Sanju on December 29, 2009 at 9:30pm
Whenever my train goes or stops neat "Jiradei", I fill proud on me & my Bihar.
Comment by Ujjwal Narayan on August 23, 2009 at 11:26am
We are here at site Siwan Bihar k Rashtrapti ka birth Place. But whenever any person visit Jiradei villiage of Birth place of Rajendra Prasad he will found that his house is being destroyed day by day. Neither govt. nor any NGO is taking care this historical site.
Comment by Md Azmatullah on August 8, 2009 at 9:54pm
hi All Bihari friends....
main ek baat badey dino sey apney under sama key rakha thaa or sochta thaa ki jab waqt aayega to jaroor logo ko yaad dilaugaaaaa.....
Ek chota sa Kerla jaha per 4 International Airport hai....or ek biahr hai jaha per ek bhi international airport nahi hai...keya bihar sey jeyada kerla key log Abroad rahtey hai? mera jawab hai nahi....
phir waha 4 international Airport keyo hai or Bihar main nahi.. Becasue Hamarey Neta waisey nahi hai or Hamari bihar kee public bhi waisee nahi hai.......
Mujhey to Lagta hai yah baat hum log ko sahi sey uthaa nee chahiye ki Bihar main ek international Airport hona chahiye Patna main....jahatak mera mannaa hai Nitesh Kumar Jee yah kaam kar shaktey hai agar yah baat untak pahuchayee jaye toooooo......
keyo ki socho kaha bihar or kaha delhi... agar kisi ko aborad jana hai to delhi jao ya Mumbai jao ya Kolkatta jao phir tumko international flight mileygiiiiiiiii.

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