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Abul Kalam Azad


Born on November 11, 1888, Maulana Abul Kalam Ghulam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, writer, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. After India gained independence, he became the First Minister of Education in the Indian government. His birthday is celebrated as National Education Day in India.

Azad was an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi’s ideas of non-violent civil disobedience and worked to organize the non-cooperation movement to protest the 1919 Rowlatt Acts. He committed himself to Gandhi’s ideals, including promoting Swadeshi (indigenous) products and the cause of Swaraj (self-rule) for India.

At the age of 35 in 1923, he became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress. Azad was one of the main organizers of the Dharasana Satyagraha in 1931 and emerged as one of the most important national leaders of the time, prominently leading the causes of Hindu-Muslim unity, as well as espousing secularism and socialism.

He served as Congress president from 1940 to 1945, during which the Quit India rebellion was launched. Azad was imprisoned along with the entire Congress leadership. He also worked for Hindu-Muslim unity through the Al-Hilal newspaper. He passed away by 1958.