Would of Goodness”, “Embodiment of the spirit of Gentleness”, ‘Throb of Indian culture” that was Dr. Rajendra Prasad. “Truth looks at you through his eyes”, said Nehru. If one were to be gentle and true, it is needless to say that the person concerned embodies the best of Indian culture.
Dr. Prasad was a paradigm of it. His life was like a book with countless pages to be learnt. He was the embodiment of virtue, honesty, discipline, punctuality and humility which adorned his personality as fragrance adorns the flower.
Born on December 3, 1884 at Mirada Village, in Saran district of Bihar, Rajendra Prasad grew up in an atmosphere pervaded by a living faith in God and spirit of devotion to dharma.
He topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta University in 1902, cleared his B.L. examinations, obtained master for law, yet this prudent gentleman never showed an air of superiority over others, rather gave free guidance to the needy.
Scholars of today must gain some inspiration from his penchant for studies and free themselves from the mad rat race for money, his ‘do something’ mantra was ever alive, even as a scholar, he practiced law and also became a leader of bar at Patna High Court. He was a staunch believer of ‘the rest is to rust’ policy.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a great leader organizer and revolutionary. He helped Gandhiji at various occasions to steer the ferry of freedom.
In the Congress session of 1916, he represented Bihar as a leader and after that there was no looking back. Service with humility and indefatigable energy was what made him unforgettable for the masses.
His commanding abilities are exemplary to today’s politicians who waste millions of rupees to organize rallies which result in loss of life and property.
He supported non-violence but believed in intelligent aggressiveness. He was very gutsy and daring. He cared two hoots for unjust Britishers and went to jail for defying the government. He taught us to work with the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s indomitable disposition of working for the right was a hallmark of his life. He was both physically and mentally dedicated to the cause of humanity.
Inspire of his health being affected by frequent bouts of asthma in Bank pore jail in 1934, he came out with rejuvenated, vigour and vitality to meticulously organize the relief work for the earthquake victims of Bihar. He is still spiritually alive because nobody worked ‘under’ him but everyone worked ‘with’ them.
Prasad had a creative mind with a high passion for perfection. To him perfection was a goal, never quite reached but always sought after. His dexterity in writing came into the open in 1942 when he was arrested because of “quit India” movement.
He had a peaceful time in Bank pore jail and his feeling got a vent; to enlighten the commonness, he wrote a book on Hindu-Muslim unity. He later wrote an autobiography in Hindi.
Both his creations are worth reading and still a lot can be learnt from his life through them. His philosophy of contentment portrays his healthy mind. The essence of his life can be had from his writings.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was very tolerant and benevolent. He had very little ideological rapport with Nehru but he was far too gentle and docile to allow political differences to diminish respect and regard for him; it should be taken as a key note for present politicians who disparage each other on the pretext of caste, colour, culture and even thoughts. He neither reigned nor ruled as a president, but worked as public welfare authority.
Thus, his life was an epitome of leadership, virtue, acumen, powerful speech and refined personality. We have lost a fine being; human and humane in the death of first president of independent India i.e. Dr. Prasad. His was, par excellence, a life with a theme; a life dedicated to the great thinker’s ideal:
‘To see as far as one may, to feel the great forces that lie behind every detail to hammer out as solid and compact a piece of work as one can, and to leave it unadvertised.” He tried to make India as “A never delay in action country”, now it is up to us to make his dreams come true.