Biography of Fakhruddin Alí Ahmed (1905-1977)

Indian politician born on May 13, 1905 in New Delhi and died on February 11, 1977, in the same city. He/She became the fifth President of India, where he/she served until his death in 1974.

Ahmed was a member of a prominent aristocratic Muslim family that descended from the poet Mirza Ghalid. He/She studied at prestigious private schools of his native city, where he/she met Fund Western culture. After finishing his studies he/she traveled to England to start his university training, and there graduated in history and law from the University of Cambridge in 1927. Back in his country settled in the Punjab region of India with most of the Muslim population, and served as lawyer for a short period of time. Later moved to the State of Assan, where he/she started his political career as a member of Gandhi's Congress Party in 1931. Four years later he/she was elected member of the Assembly of Assan and in 1938 he/she was appointed Finance Minister of the provincial government.

His extensive legal knowledge earned him the post of judge of the Supreme Court of India. With the passage of time it became one of the men of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he/she supported in its policy of non-violence and civil disobedience. The British jailed him several times during the second world war due to the differences of opinion that, on conflict, between Great Britain and the Congress Party. Ahmed decided to remain within the organization when Mohammed Ali Jinnah decided to split in his Muslim League. Congress and ask for the creation of an independent Muslim State. After occupying positions of responsibility in the leadership of the party in 1954 went to occupy a seat in the Senate of the India, who left in 1958 to be appointed Minister in charge of the provinces by Prime Minister Shastri, put great importance if one takes into account that he/she was in charge of coordinating the policy concerning the 562 territories who had gathered to form the Republic of India.

In the first Government of Indira Gandhi, formed at the beginning of 1966, he/she held the portfolio of irrigation and power. Member of the majority faction that supported the work of Indira, 1970 became in charge of the Ministry of agriculture and development. When in August 1974 were called presidential elections in the India, the Prime Minister decided not to support the candidacy of the then President Giri and apply of Ahmed, who left his position in the Government to focus on the election campaign. Winner was the by a wide margin in a poll that was based on a complicated indirect system of proportional representation. On August 21, 1974 he/she was proclaimed as sixth President of India, the second of the Muslim religion. His Vice President was Basappa Danappa Jatti. From the Presidency, a charge that in the India is almost honorary, supported the policy of Indira Gandhi, who was then saw how alarmingly descended its popularity due to the severe economic crisis. It was endorsed by the decrees of the Government which declared the State of emergency, establishing press censorship and cut personal liberties, politics that led to the imprisonment of more than one hundred thousand Indians. In the last days of life refused to give its consent on religious grounds to a campaign that sought to implement a strict family planning policy.


KULKE, H.: A History of India. (London: Routledge, 1998).

DANIÉLOU.: Histoire de l´Inde. (Paris: Fayard, 1990).