Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
|5th President of India|
24 August 1974 - 11 February 1977
|B. D. Jatti|
Gopal Swarup Pathak
|V. V. Giri|
|B. D. Jatti (Acting)|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Renuka Devi Barkataki|
|Ismail Hossain Khan|
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
|Born||13 May 1905|
|Died||11 February 1977 (aged 71)|
New Delhi, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Begum Abida Ahmed|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
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 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 first Assamese person 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 Ahmed, was from Parsi Poria Family of Assamese Goria ethnic community. Khaliluddin Ahmed's forefather was brought to Assam by the medieval Ahom ruller from Delhi to work as translator to translate the letters received from Mughal emperor written in Parsian language and also to write letters and communications to Mughal court in Parsian language, therefore his family was called Parsi poria family in Assam History. His family later on assimilated to Goria ethnic group of Assam and become a part of Goria community. Khaliluddin Ahmed family originally hailed from Gorgaon of present-day Sivsagor district of Assam from where during the Burmese invansion of Assam they fled to Kacharihat village of present-day Golaghat district of Assam to escape from Burmese atrocities. Later on Khaliluddin Ahmed migrated to Guwahati in the year 1840 wherein Col. Zalnur Ali Ahmed, father of Fakaruddin Ali Ahmed was born on 19 July 1848. Fakaruddin Ali Ahmed married a Muslim girl named Begum 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.
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 3+1⁄2 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 thereafter became Advocate-General of the Government of Assam. He was elected on the Congress ticket to the Assam Legislative Assembly for two terms (1957-1962) and (1962-1967) representing the Jania constituency.
Subsequently, he was elected to the Lok Sabha, representing 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 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.