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The Great Son of India : Dr. Zakir Hussain (1897-1969)


Syed Naseer Ahmad

Doctor Zakir Hussain, who was the President of India (1967-1969), was born on 8 February, 1897 in Hyderabad, which is presently the capital of Andhra Pradesh. His father was Fida Hussain and mother Nazneen.

He started his schooling at the Government high school, Hyderabad. When his father died in 1905, he migrated to Khasimganj of Bihar along with his mother.

He joined the Islamia high school at Etawah in 1908 and completed his graduation from the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1918.

He studied M.A. in Economics and did Law. He became the leader of the Students’ Union while he was in the college. He had an excellent knowledge in National and International affairs and got recognition as a very good orator.

Zakir Hussain entered into the National Movement under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and took part in Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movements. He was offered Naib Tehsildar post by the British, which was refused by him true to his National ideology.

He wanted to train the youth towards the National Movement. Thus, he joined as a Lecturer in the Jamia Milia Islamia College, which was founded during the Khilafat and Non Co-operation Movement.

Upon his return from Germany in February, 1926, he totally dedicated himself to the institution. Due to the relentless efforts of Zakir Hussain, the institution has been praised as the ‘Healthy child of the Non Co-operation Movement’.

He encouraged the students and the teachers of the Jamia to participate in the Salt Satyagraha in 1930. When Gandhi started collecting ‘Swarajya Fund’, Jamia students, teachers and employees donated for the first time to the fund under his guidance.

Dr. Zakir Hussain believed that Hindu-Muslim integrity was essential for the liberation of country from the British. Hence, he conducted several programmes and campaigns in this regard.

After Independence, he took the responsibility as the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University on the request of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and continued in that post till 1956.

He was the member of Rajyasabha during 1952 and 1956. Dr. Zakir Hussain became the Governor of Bihar in 1957 and the President of India in 1967.

He strengthened the Indian National Movement by imparting National Education in the minds of youth of the country.

Dr. Zakir Hussain went on a tour to Assam and returned to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 3 May, 1969. On the same day in the evening he breathed his last.

He was buried on the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia, the institution which he adored very much.

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