Education is a life-extending process. It is not possible to build a stable society without education. Education is one of the major factors of the transition of human kind. Without education there is no future. One person who has attempted to usher in light in the society through education is Dr.° Zakir Husain. Not only education but one of the individuals whose personality and patriotism has made India a modern, powerful country is Dr.° Husain. Dr.° Zakir Husain took various steps to transform India into a strong nation despite various challenges in the aftermath of his election as the third President of independent India. He continued his efforts to make India a strong country by reforming the education sector in particular.
Biography of Zakir Husain
|Date of Birth||February 8, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Hyderabad, India (present-day Telangana)|
|Father’s Name||Fida Husain Khan|
|Education||1/ Islamic High School in Etawah, Farrukhabad district|
2/ Aligarh Muslim University
3/ Berlin University, Germany
|Awards||1/ Bharat Ratna (1963)|
2/ Padma Vibhushan (1954 )
3/ From universities like Allahabad, Aligarh, Kolkata, Delhi, Kahira etc. Honored with the D Lit title
|Died||May 3, 1969.|
Early Life of Zakir Husain
Zakir Hussain was born on February 8,1897 to an Afghan family in Southern Hyderabad. His father Fida Husain Khan was a lawyer. Zakir Husain spent his childhood through a lot of challenges. He was just 10 years old when he lost his father, later when he was 14 years old, he also lost his mother. Yet Husain never gave up on the battle of his life.
Zakir Husain took up primary education in Hyderabad. On the other hand, he studied higher secondary at Sultan Bazar High School, a residential school. He later graduated in economics from a Christian Degree college under the University of Lucknow after pursuing high school at Islamic High School in Etawah. Zakir Husain enrolled in Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College under Allahabad University after completing his graduation, where he was a prominent student leader. The college is currently known as Aligarh Muslim University. It may be recalled that he received a Doctorate in economics from the University of Berlin in 1926. Importantly, Zakir Husain emerged as a strong student leader possessing leadership qualities from his student days.
Also Read : Biography of Ram Nath Kovind
Career of Zakir Husain
Significantly, in 1920, many students and teachers, including Zakir Husain, played an important role in establishing the National Muslim University in Aligarh. However, this National Muslim University was subsequently shifted to Jamia Nagar and renamed as Jamia Millia University. It may be recalled that Zakir Husain spent his professional life teaching at Jamia Millia University. He taught at Jamia Millia University from 1920 to 1922.
Later in 1927, Zakir Husain served as head and vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University till 1948. From the establishment of the university to serving as vice chancellor, he took various steps to make the students self-reliant despite facing problems and challenges in various aspects.
Importantly, Zakir Husain was nominated to the Upper House in the Indian parliamentary system in 1956 after holding the post of vice-chancellor for many years in a row amid various challenges and problems. It may be recalled that Husain served successfully by being appointed governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962. In addition, Dr.° Hussain served as a member of the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1957 as chairman of the Central Council for Secondary Education. In 1957, he served as a member of the University Grants Commission and served as a member of the Educational Reconstruction Committee of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in 1948-49, parallel to the university’s membership of the Education Commission.
He subsequently served as vice president of India in 1962 and served as vice president till 1967. Zakir Husain was elected as the third President of independent India on May 13, 1967, after serving as vice president. It may be recalled that he was the first President elected from Islam. Importantly, he was sworn in as president and commented through his first speech that “India is his home and every person living here is like a member of his family.”
Importantly, Zakir Husain was an educationist in parallel with being a notable figure in Indian parliamentary politics and a politician full of all qualities. It may be recalled that Dr. Husain, in parallel with the fact that Universities in India were firm believers in intellectual integrity, believed that encouraging better education and research was the best way to strengthen a country. It may be recalled that while studying in Class VIII, he mentioned in his first work that the purpose of a student’s life should be to remove prejudices and to give up dishonest and bad habits.
Apart from being an educationist and a politician, Dr.° Zakir Husain was a literary figure. When he was in Germany he played an important role in publishing a collection of poems by famous Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan called “Ghalibi”. Hussain also made an outstanding contribution to the field of translation of literature. It was only after he joined as a professor in Jamia Millia University in 1920, he translated Plato’s The Republic and Canon’s Elementary Political Economy books into Urdu. In addition, Dr.° Husain made special efforts to develop scientific thinking by creating a variety of stories for children in Urdu to promote the mental excellence of a child. For example, through the story ‘Saeeda ki Amma’, Dr.° Husain explains the relevance of medical science. Apart from this he has some other stories “Blowing Hot, Blowing Cold”, “Little Chicken in a Hurry”, “The Poori that Ran Away”, “The Bravest Goat in the World”, and “A Flower Song”, “A Pact with the sun” etc. Importantly, Dr.° Zakir Husain’s granddaughter and writer Samina Mishra collected many stories of Dr.° Husain and compiled them under the name “The Magic Key.” Apart from this, his other translated book are – Educational reconstruction in India, The dynamic university, Friedrich List’s ‘National system of economics etc.’
Dr.° Zakir Husain was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 1954, the Bharat Ratna Award in 1963 as India’s highest civilian honour. In addition, Dr.° Husain was also honoured with DLit title by the University of Delhi, Kolkata, Aligarh, Allahabad and Cairo.
It may be recalled that Zakir Husain died on May 3,1969 without ending his term as the third President of India. Dr.° Husain’s political integrity, values, secular attitude, strong personality, ideals will always be alive among the new generation. Zakir Husain’s intellectual approach, considered to be a man of great personality who has contributed to the field of education, politicians, literature, is still popular and people still remembers the relevance of Dr.° Zakir Husain’s thoughts for his hard work and humble behaviour.
Dr.° Husain was a man who was confident of liberal religious views and secularism. He was also popular as an educationist even though he held the highest post in the country as president of India through active participation in the political arena. It may be recalled that Dr.° Husain was born into a normal family but in the midst of tough challenges, he was able to establish himself as a distinguished educationist, well-writer, eminent politician and kind human lover through his own talent, perseverance, zeal and personality.
1. Who is Zakir Husain?
Ans: Zakir Husain was an Indian economist and politician who served as the third president of India.
2. When and where was Zakir Husain born?
Ans: Husain was born on February 8, 1897 at Hyderabad, India.
3. When did Zakir Husain sworn in as a third President of India?
Ans: Husain sworn in as the third President of independent India on May 13,1967, after serving as vice president.
4. When Zakir Husain was awarded with Bharat Ratna India’s highest civilian honour?
Ans: He was awarded with Bharat Ratna in 1963.
5. Name some of the books translated by Zakir Husain.
Ans: Some of the books translated by Husain are – Plato’s The Republic and Canon’s Elementary Political Economy books, Educational reconstruction in India, The dynamic university, Friedrich List’s ‘National system of economics etc.’
6. When did Zakir Husain died?
Ans: Zakir Husain died on May 3,1969 without ending his term as the third President of India.
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