Who was the fifth president of India?

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (24 August 1974 – 11 February 1977)

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was the fifth President of India, in office from 1974 to 1977. He had keen interest in many fields such as music, fine arts, poetry and sports. He was the second President of India to die in office.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was born on 13th May 1905, at the Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi. He attended St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, England. He met Jawaharlal Nehru in England in 1925. Nehru’s progressive ideas influenced him very much. At Nehru’s request, he joined the Indian National Congress and actively participated in the Indian freedom struggle.

He was a member of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee from 1936. He was later appointed the Minister for Finance, Revenue and Labour in Assam. In 1942, he supported the Quit India Movement, for which he was arrested.

After India gained independence, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1952. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1967 and again in 1971.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was picked for the presidency by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Thus in 1974, he became the President of India. He is known to have issued the proclamation of the Emergency by signing the papers at midnight, during Indira Gandhi’s tenure as the prime minister.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s tenure in the office was cut short by his sudden demise due to a heart attack which he suffered on his return from a tour of the Southeast Asian countries only a day before. He died on 11th February, 1977.

Though politics was his forte, he always showed keen interest in sports and many extracurricular activities. He was an excellent tennis player and golfer. In April 1967, he was elected as the president of the All India Cricket Association.

Though he was basically a sports enthusiast, he had excellent taste in music and fine arts too. He enjoyed the poetry of Mirza Ghalib. A medical college, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College, has been named after him at Barpeta in Assam.

Picture Credit : Google 

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