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Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

President of India

Died when: 71 years 274 days (860 months)
Star Sign: Taurus


Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

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.

Born in Delhi, Ahmed studied in Delhi and Cambridge and was called to the bar from the Inner Temple, London in 1928.

Returning to India, he practiced law in Lahore and then in Guwahati where he went on to become the Advocate General of Assam in 1946.

Beginning a long association with the Indian National Congress in the 1930s, Ahmed was finance minister of Assam in the Gopinath Bordoloi ministry in 1939 and again from 1957 to 1966 under Bimala Prasad Chaliha.

He was made a cabinet minister by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1966 and was in charge of ministries including Power, Irrigation, Industries and Agriculture until 1974 when he was elected president of India.

As president, Ahmed imposed the Emergency in August 1975 and gave his assent to numerous ordinances and constitutional amendments that severely restricted civil liberties and allowed Indira Gandhi to rule by decree.

Lampooned in an iconic cartoon by Abu Abraham, Ahmed’s legacy is tarnished by his support for the Emergency and he has been described as a rubber stamp president.

Ahmed died in February 1977, was accorded a state funeral and is buried in a masjid near Parliament House in New Delhi.

Ahmed, who was the second Muslim to become the president of India, was also the second president to die in office.

Ahmed was succeeded by B.D.Jatti as acting president and by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy as the sixth president of India in 1977.

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