ZAKIR HUSSAIN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography


ZAKIR HUSSAIN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

ZAKIR HUSSAIN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Dr. Zakir Hussain was born at Hyderabad on February 8, 1897, he came of a Pathan family of the upper middle-class, settled at Qaunganj in the District of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Fida Hussain Khan, went to Hyderabad, studied Law and had a most successful career. Unfortunately, he died when Dr. Zakir Hussain was only ten years old.

Dr. Zakir Hussain was sent first for his education to the Islamia High School in Etawah (U.P.) which specialized in puritanical strictures. After finishing school, he joined the M.A.O. College at Aligarh and studied upto the M.A. When the Indian National Congress and the All India Khilafat Committee joined hands in launching the Non-Cooperation Movement, Mahatma Gandhi toured the country to induce teachers and students to leave Government administered schools and colleges. The young Zakir Hussain, who was then half-student and half-teacher, very prominent among the students and very popular with a large section of the staff, persuaded Hakim Ajmal Khan and other leaders to establish a national institution at Aligarh, and the Jamia Millia Islamia came into being on 29 October, 1920. But Zakir Hussain did not wish to leave his studies incomplete and he went to the University of Berlin in Germany for higher studies in 1923, returning with a doctorate in Economics three years later.

He rejoined the Jamia Millia in February-March, 1926 and became the Vice-Chancellor. It was at the Jamia Millia that Dr. Zakir Hussain developed his gifts as an educationist. It was his experience here as well as his deep study of the philosophy of education which enable him to take charge of the scheme of Basic National Education when it was launched in 1938. He was the President of Hindustani Talimi Sangh, Sevagram from 1938 to 1948.

In November 1948, Dr. Zakir Hussain was appointed Vice- Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. He was also nominated a member of the Indian Universities Commission. The World University Service made him the Chairman of the Indian National Committee and in 1954 he was elected the World President of the organization. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha and made the Indian representative on the Executive Board of the UNESCO from 1956 to 1958. He remained the Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education, till 1957, a member of the University Grants Commission till 1957, a member of the University Education Commission in 1948-1949 and of the Educational Reorganization Committee of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In 1957 he was appointed the Governor of Bihar and in 1962 he was declared elected as the Head of the State and was formally sworn in as the Third President of the Indian Republic four days later. He held the highest office of the country with exemplary grace and dignity till his sudden death on 3 May, 1969.

Dr. Zakir Hussain was awarded Padma Vibhushanin 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. He was awarded D.Litt. by the Universities of Delhi, Calcutta, Aligarh, Allahabad and Cairo.


A nationalist of the Gandhian vintage, Dr. Husain held up the highest moral values and lived up to them. He believed in democracy with individual freedom and self discipline. 

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