Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Fifth President of India: A Champion of Labor Rights and National Unity

The journey of Dr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed from a lawyer and activist to a prominent politician and eventually the fifth President of India

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Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, who was prepared to face the wrath of the British trading community to defend the rights of labourers, was born in Delhi on 13 May, 1905.

His father was Colonel Jalnoor Ali, who opposed the discrimination shown by the British officials against the Indian officials in the Army.

He graduated from the Punjab University and studied law in England where he met Jawaharlal Nehru.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed started his practice in 1923 as an advocate at Lahore. He later took membership in the Indian National Congress in 1931 to enter into the National Movement. He went to Gowhati, the present Capital of Assam, to look after his family estate.

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Rejection of Muslim League calls

In Gowhathi he took up the key responsibilities of Assam branch of the Indian National Congress. He rejected the invitations by the Muslim League leaders and continued in the Congress only.

He defeated the Muslim League candidate in 1935 elections and got elected to the Assam Assembly and became Minister for Revenue and Labour Welfare. During his tenure, he brought several pro-labour bills like Agricultural Income Tax Bill etc., defying the ire of the British traders.

Defiance Against British Rule

He participated in the individual Satyagraha in 1940, for which he was jailed by the British. Later, he was once again imprisoned for his role in the Quit India Movement and was in Jail till April, 1945.

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Dr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed got married to Begum Abeda in 1945. He declared that the unity among the Hindus and Muslims is essential to achieve independence. He strongly opposed the divisive politics of the Muslim League.

Dr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed got elected to the Assam Assembly and Rajyasabha several times after independence and held different ministries in Govt. of India. He further joined the Central Cabinet on the invitation of the Pandit  Nehru.

When Indian National Congress was split in 1969, he supported Indira Gandhi. He was further elected to the Parliament in 1971.

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Fifth President of India

In the later political developments, Dr Ali was elected as the President of India in 1974.

As the fifth President of India, he helped the development of Sports and Cultural activities. Since he was also personally interested in those fields.

Though he was criticized for the declaration of  Emergency in 1975, he was respected for his honesty, integrity and secular ideology. Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed took his last breath on 11 February, 1977 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

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Syed Naseer Ahamed

Syed Naseer Ahamad is a Telugu writer and journalist who has written several books on the role of Muslims in the struggle for the freedom of India. Many of his books have been translated into other languages. He can be contacted at [email protected] and cellphone number 91-9440241727.


Syed Naseer Ahamed http://M.Com ., LL.B., D.J. Flat No. C-2, Sree Ram's Arcade, Amaravathi Road UNDAVALLI - 522501 Tadepalli Mandalam, Guntur, AP