Zakir Hussain was the first Muslim president of India. He was born in the princely state of Hyderabad (now Andhra Pradesh) to an upper-class family of Pathan descent. After receiving an orthodox upbringing, he completed his education from the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (currently Aligarh Muslim University), where he joined student politics. He was among those students and teachers, who established the nationalist university of Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920. He then earned his PhD at the University of Berlin (Germany). A respected educationist, he became the head of the Jamia, thereby actively participating in India’s struggle for independence. In 1948, he accepted to be the Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. His Indian nationalist convictions helped restore the image of the institution, which had been the seedbed of the pro-Pakistan movement. From 1952 to 1957, he was then Governor of Bihar, before becoming India’s vice president, a position he held between 1962 and 1967, when he was elected President of India. He died before completing his term. He is buried on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus.
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NOORANI, A.G. 1967. President Zakir Hussain: A Quest for Excellence. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.