24th is the day when in the year 1974, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed became the fifth President of India. He held the Presidential office till 11th February 1977. He was the second Muslim President of India after Zakir Husain.
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was born on 13th May 1905 at the Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi, India. The son of an army doctor from Asam, Ahmed was first educated in India and then moved to the University of Cambridge for graduation in 1927. After returning to India, he was elected to the Assam legislature (1935).
He actively participated in the Indian Freedom struggle and in 1942 he was arrested in the Quit India movement and sentenced to 3 1/2 years' of imprisonment. During his tenure as president, he toured several countries like England, France, Germany and Italy. It was during his presidency that the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared emergency.
On 11th February 1977, he passed away after he collapsed in his office while preparing to attend his daily Namaz prayer. He was 72. Today his grave lies right across the Parliament of India next to the Sunhari Masjid, at Sansad Chowk, in New Delhi.
On 22nd March 1977, a commemorative stamp of 25 NP (naye paise) was issued to commemorate Dr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.
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