Chennai, India +91

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

(1905 – 1977) – (Assam)


Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (Aged 70) was born on May 13, 1905, in the Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi, India. His father, Col. Zalnur Ali Ahmed, was an Assamese Muslim and the first MD (Doctor of Medicine) in Assam, while his mother, Sahibzadi Ruqaiyya Sultan, was the daughter of the Nawab of Loharu.

In 1925, after meeting Jawaharlal Nehru in England, he strongly associated himself with the Indian National Congress. During the Quit India Movement in 1942, he was arrested and sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment. In 1948, he became a minister in the Gopinath Bordoloi Ministry, serving as Minister of Finance, Revenue, and Labor Welfare.

After Independence, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha (1952–1953) and became the Advocate General of the Government of Assam. He was elected on the Congress ticket to the Assam Legislative Assembly for two terms, representing the Jania constituency from 1957 to 1962 and from 1962 to 1967. Subsequently, he was elected to the Lok Sabha, representing the Barpeta constituency in 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 August 20, 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 on the same day. He used his constitutional authority as the head of state to allow him to rule by decree once the Emergency in India was proclaimed in 1975. He passed away on February 11, 1977.