Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

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Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed 1977 stamp of India.jpg
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed on a 1977 Indian postage stamp.
5th President of India
In office
24 August 1974 11 February 1977
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Vice President B. D. Jatti
Gopal Swarup Pathak
Preceded by V. V. Giri
Succeeded by B. D. Jatti (Acting)
Personal details
Born(1905-05-13)13 May 1905
Delhi, British India
(now India)
Died11 February 1977(1977-02-11) (aged 71)
New Delhi, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Begum Abida Ahmed
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Inner Temple
Profession Lawyer

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (13 May 1905 – 11 February 1977) was the fifth President of India from 1974 to 1977 and also the 2nd President of India to die in office. [1] [2]

President of India Ceremonial head of state of India

The President of India is the ceremonial head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.


Early life and background

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was born on 13 May 1905 at the Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi, India. [2] His father, Col. Zalnur Ali Ahmed, was the first indigenous Assamese person and the first indigenous person from northeast India to have an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree. [3] His mother, Sahibzadi Ruqaiyya Sultan, was a daughter of the Nawab of Loharu. [4] Ahmed's grandfather, Khaliluddin Ali Ahmed, was from Kacharighat near Golaghat, Assam, and hailed from a well-known indigenous Assamese Muslim family. He married with an indigenous Assamese Muslim girl named Begam Abida Ahmed of Assam. [5]

Old Delhi Municipality in Delhi, India

Old Delhi or Purani Dilli was founded as a walled city of Delhi, India, founded as Shahjahanabad in 1639, when Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor at the time, decided to shift the Mughal capital from Agra. The construction of the city was completed in 1648, and it remained the capital of the Mughal Empire until its fall in 1857, when the British Raj took over a paramount power in India. It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi. Only few havelis are left and maintained.

Assamese people Socio-ethnolinguistic group in India

The Assamese people are a socio-ethnolinguistic identity that has been described at various times as nationalistic or micro-nationalistic. This group is often associated with the Assamese language, though the use of the term precedes the name of the language. It has also been used retrospectively to the people of Assam before the term "Assamese" came into use. They are a physically diverse group formed after centuries of assimilation of Austroasiatic, Tibeto-burman, Indo-Aryan and Tai populations. The total population of Assamese speakers in Assam is nearly 13 million which makes up 48.38% of the population of state according to the Language census of 2011.

Northeast India Group of Northeastern Indian states

Northeast India is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal, with a width of 21 to 40 kilometres, connects the North Eastern Region with East India. The region shares an international border of 5,182 kilometres (3,220 mi) with several neighbouring countries – 1,395 kilometres (867 mi) with Tibet Autonomous Region, China in the north, 1,640 kilometres (1,020 mi) with Myanmar in the east, 1,596 kilometres (992 mi) with Bangladesh in the south-west, 97 kilometres (60 mi) with Nepal in the west, and 455 kilometres (283 mi) with Bhutan in the north-west. It comprises an area of 262,230 square kilometres (101,250 sq mi), almost 8 percent of that of India, and is one of the largest salients (panhandles) in the world.

Ahmed attended St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple of London and began legal practice in the Lahore High Court in 1928. [2] [4]

St. Stephens College, Delhi

St. Stephen's College is a constituent college of the University of Delhi. Widely regarded as one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges for arts and sciences in India, the institution has produced a line of distinguished alumni. It was established by the Cambridge Mission to Delhi. The college admits both undergraduates and post-graduates, and awards degrees in liberal arts and sciences under the purview of the University of Delhi. As of 2017, the Governing Body of the College has unilaterally initiated a move towards making it an autonomous institution.

St Catharines College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

St Catharine's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1473 as Katharine Hall, it adopted its current name in 1860. The college is nicknamed "Catz". The college is located in the historic city-centre of Cambridge, and lies just south of King's College and across the street from Corpus Christi College. The college is notable for its open court that faces towards Trumpington Street.

Inner Temple one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, a person must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

Political years

He met Jawaharlal Nehru in England in 1925. He joined the Indian National Congress and actively participated in the Indian Freedom Movement. In 1942 he was arrested during the Quit India Movement and sentenced to 3 1/2 years' imprisonment. [2] He was a member of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee from 1936 and of AICC from 1947 to 1974, and remained the Minister of Finance, Revenue and labour in 1938 Gopinath Bordoloi Ministry. [6]

Jawaharlal Nehru First Prime Minister of India

Jawaharlal Nehru was an Indian independence activist, and subsequently, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He has been described by the Amar Chitra Katha as the architect of India. He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru.

Indian National Congress Major political party in India

The Indian National Congress(pronunciation ) is a broadly based political party in India. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. Congress led India to independence from Great Britain, and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.

Quit India Movement Katra Neel Chandni Chowk Delhi

The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Mahatma Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British Rule of India.

After Independence he was elected to the Rajya Sabha (1952–1953) and there after became Advocate-General of the Government of Assam. He was elected on Congress ticket to the Assam Legislative Assembly on two terms (1957–1962) and (1962–1967) from Jania constituency. [6]

Rajya Sabha Upper house of the Parliament of India

The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India. It currently has a maximum membership of 245, of which 233 are elected by the legislatures of the states and union territories using single transferable votes through Open Ballot while the President can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sit for staggered terms lasting six years, with elections every year but almost a third of the 233 designates up for election every two years, specifically in even-numbered years. The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, being the lower house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, which is the upper house of Parliament, is not subjected to dissolution. However, the Rajya Sabha, like the Lok Sabha can be prorogued by the President.

Government of Assam

The Government of Assam is the governing authority of Assam, a state of India. It consists of the Governor nominated by the Government of India as the head of the state, currently Jagdish Mukhi. The head of government is the Chief Minister, currently Sarbananda Sonowal, who is the leader of the group that commands a majority in the unicameral Assam Legislative Assembly. The Assam Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage for a period of five years. The Chief Minister is assisted by a Council of Ministers that he nominates, the size of which is restricted.

Assam Legislative Assembly Unicameral legislature of the Indian state of Assam

The Assam Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the Indian state of Assam. It is housed in Dispur, the capital of Assam, geographically situated in present Western Assam region. The Legislative Assembly comprises 126 Members of Legislative Assembly, directly elected from single-seat constituencies. Its term is five years, unless sooner dissolved.

Subsequently, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Barpeta constituency, Assam in 1967 and again in 1971. In the Central Cabinet he was given important portfolios relating to Food and Agriculture, Co-operation, Education, Industrial Development and Company Laws. [6]

Lok Sabha Lower house of the Parliament of India

The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by adult universal suffrage and a first-past-the-post system to represent their respective constituencies, and they hold their seats for five years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.

Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam state in north-eastern India.


Chosen for the presidency by the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1974, and on 20 August 1974, he became the second Muslim to be elected President of India. He is known to have issued the proclamation of emergency by signing the papers at midnight after a meeting with Indira Gandhi the same day. [7] He used his constitutional authority as head of state to allow him to rule by decree once the Emergency in India was proclaimed in 1975. [8]

He is well known among Indian diplomats for his visit to Sudan in 1975. [9] He was the second Indian president to die in office, on 11 February 1977. His death occurred after he collapsed in his office while preparing to attend his daily Namaz prayer. The cause of his death was a heart attack. He was 72 then. Today his grave lies right across the Parliament of India next to the Sunhari Masjid, at Sansad Chowk, in New Delhi. [10]


He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pristina, in Kosovo, in 1975, during his visit to Yugoslavia. [11]

He was elected President of the Assam Football Association and the Assam Cricket Association for several terms; he was also the Vice-President of the Assam Sports Council. [12]

In April 1967, he was elected President of the All India Cricket Association. He was a member of the Delhi Golf Club and the Delhi Gymkhana Club from 1961. [13]

In his honour a medical college Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College has been named after him at Barpeta Assam. [14]

Grave of former Indian President Fakhrudhin Ali Ahmad Grave of former Indian President Fakhrudhin ali ahmad.jpg
Grave of former Indian President Fakhrudhin Ali Ahmad

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Abdul Matlib Mazumdar (1890–1980) was an Indian freedom fighter and political leader based in undivided Assam State. In 1946, when India was still under British rule, he became an MLA and also Cabinet Minister of Assam. He was one of the prominent Muslim leaders of eastern India to support Hindu-Muslim unity, opposing the partition of India on communal lines. Mazumdar along with Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed became the most prominent Muslim opponents of the demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan, especially in the eastern part of the country.

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  1. Former Presidents President of India website.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1905–1977): Biography RRTC, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  3. "[Assam] Lt Col Sivram Bora". 7 July 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. 1 2 "History of India" . Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  5. "India's First Lady Moves Into the Official Spotlight". The New York Times . 25 October 1974.
  6. 1 2 3 Nikhat Ekbal (2009). Great Muslims of undivided India. Kalpaz. pp. 99–101. ISBN   8178357569.
  7. "Who is Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed?". The Indian Express . 1 August 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  8. "Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed". Past Presidents of India. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  9. "India-South Sudan Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs . Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. "President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed passes away". India Today . 28 February 1977.
  11. Rajendra Kumar. President and Prime Minister of India. p. 1963.
  12. Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed - President of India, Glorious India
  13. "Fifth Lok Sabha" . Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  14. "Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974 - 1977)". The Economic Times . 21 July 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2019.

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Varahagiri Venkata Giri
President of India
Succeeded by
Basappa Danappa Jatti