Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (13 May 1905 – 11 February 1977) was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the fifth President of India from 1974 to 1977. He was also the second President of India to die in office.Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1905–1977): Biography
RRTC, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Early life and background

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was born on 13 May 1905 at the Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi, India. His father, Col. Zalnur Ali Ahmed, was an Assamese Muslim and the Immigrant Bengali person from East India to have an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree. His mother, Sahibzadi Ruqaiyya Sultan, was a daughter of the Nawab of Loharu. Ahmed's grandfather, Khaliluddin Ali Ahmed, was from Kacharighat near Golaghat, Assam, and hailed from a well-known Immigrant Bengali Assamese Muslim family. He married Muslim girl named Begam Abida Ahmed of Sheikhupur, Badaun, Uttar Pradesh. 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.

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 years' imprisonment. 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 1948 Gopinath Bordoloi Ministry. 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. 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.


Ahmed was chosen for the presidency by 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. 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. He is well known among Indian diplomats for his visit to Sudan in 1975.

Death and legacy

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. Today, his grave lies right across the Parliament of India next to the ''Sunhari Masjid'', at Sansad Chowk, in New Delhi.


He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pristina, in Kosovo, in 1975, during his visit to Yugoslavia. He was elected President of the Assam Football Association and the Assam Cricket Association for several terms; and was also the Vice-President of the Assam Sports Council. 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. A medical college, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College has been named after him at Barpeta Assam.

See also

*Death and state funeral of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed


Further reading

* ''Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed'', by M. A. Naidu, 1975 * ''Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed'', by Attar Chand. Pub. Homeland, 1975. * * ''Speeches of President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed'', Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 1980. * ''My eleven years with Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed'', by F. A. A. Rehmaney. S. Chand, 1979.

External links

Legends of Assam
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ahmed, Fakhruddin Ali Category:Presidents of India Category:1905 births Category:1977 deaths Category:Alumni of St Catharine's College, Cambridge Category:St. Stephen's College, Delhi alumni Category:Indian Muslims Category:People from Barpeta district Category:Alumni of the University of Cambridge Category:Rajya Sabha members from Assam Category:Indian independence activists from Assam Category:Prisoners and detainees of British India Category:Indian National Congress politicians from Assam Category:Assam MLAs 1957–1962 Category:Assam MLAs 1962–1967 Category:4th Lok Sabha members Category:5th Lok Sabha members Category:Members of the Cabinet of India Category:Lok Sabha members from Assam Category:20th-century Indian lawyers Category:Education Ministers of India Category:Ministers of Power of India Category:Commerce and Industry Ministers of India Category:Burials in India Category:Members of the Inner Temple Category:State funerals in India