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Former Presidents

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 00:00

1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India was born on 3rd December 1884 in Bihar. He played a prominent role in the Indian Independence Movement. He served as President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of the Republic from 1948 to 1950. He was the Food Minister of the Indian Union in 1947, president of the Indian Constituent Assembly during 1946-49. Rajendra Prasad became the President of India on January 26, 1950. He died on 28 February 1963 at Sadaqat ashram, Patna.

2. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Born on September 5, 1888 in Tiruthani. He became the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University in 1931. During 1949-52, he was the Indian Ambassador to USSR. In 1952, he was elected the Vice-President of India. Radhakrishnan was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954. He was re-elected Vice President in 1957. He was sworn in as the second President of India on May 13, 1962. Dr. Radhakrishnan died in 1975

3. Dr. Zakir Hussain

Born in 1897 in Hyderabad, Zakir Hussain persuaded leaders like Hakim Ajmal Khan and Dr.Ansari to found the Jamia Millia in Delhi in 1920. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the institution for nearly 3 decades. He received the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. He was appointed the Governor of Bihar in July 1957. He was elected Vice-President of India in May 1962. He became the President of India on May 13, 1967 and held the office till his death on May 3, 1969.

4. Varahagiri Venkata Giri

V. V. Giri was born in Berhampore, Orissa on August 10, 1894. He was responsible for the formation of the All India Trade Union Congress, of which he was the president twice. Also devoted his life to building up the All India Railwaymen`s Federation. He was the Labour and Industry Minister in Madras during 1937-39 and served as Union Labour Minister during 1952-54, and as the Governor of UP, Kerala and Mysore. He served as the Vice-President of India from May 13, 1967 to 1969. He was the Acting President from May 3, 1969 to July 20, 1969 after the death of President Zakir Hussain.

Later, V.V. Giri was elected to the Office of the President and was sworn in on August 24, 1969. He held office till 24 August, 1974. He was awarded the `Bharat Ratna` in 1975. V.V.Giri passed away in 1980.

5. Justice Mohammed Hidayatullah

M. Hidayatullah was born on 17th December 1905 in Maharashtra. He was the Chief Justice of India during 1968 to 1970. He served as the Acting President of India for a short term from July 20th to August 21st 1969. Later, he served as the Vice-President of India from 1979 to 1984.

7. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

He was born in Delhi on May 13, 1905. He was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple, London, 1928 and became a Union Minister in 1966. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was sworn in as President on August 24, 1974 and held office till his death on 11th February 1977.

8. B. D. Jatti

He was born on September 10, 1912 at Savalgi, Bijapur district of Karnataka. He was Chief Minister of Mysore State during 1958-62. He was Vice-President of India from 1974 to 1979. B. D. Jatti held the Office of the President of India temporarily from February 11, 1977 to July 25, 1977.

9. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy

Born on May 19, 1913 in Elluru in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh, N.S. Reddy gave up his studies to join the Satyagraha Movement in 1931 and served long terms of imprisonment during the freedom struggle. He became the first CM of Andhra Pradesh in October 1956. He was a Union Minister from 1964 to 1967. He passed away in 1996.

10. Giani Zail Singh

Giani Zail Singh was born on May 5, 1916 in village Sandhwan in Faridkot district. Moved by the Martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, the young Giani took part in the freedom struggle and suffered solitary confinement for 5 years. In March 1972, he became the chief Minister of Punjab. In 1980, Gianiji became Union Home Minister. In 1982, he was elected as the President of India and was sworn on July 25, 1982 and held office till July 25, 1987. Giani Zail Singh died in December 1994.

11. R. Venkataraman

R. Venkataraman was born on 4th December 1910 in Rajamandam, Thanjavur. He participated in the Quit India Movement of 1942 and was jailed for 2 years. He was a well-known labour leader. Between 1957 and 1967 he served as Minister for Industries, Labour, Co-operation, Power, Transport and Commercial Taxes in the Madras state government. From 1967 to 1971 he was a member of the Planning Commission. In 1980, he became Union Minister for Finance and later, Minister for Defence. R. Venkataraman was elected Vice-President of India in August 1984. He was elected the President of India in 1987 and held office till July 25, 1992.

12. Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma

Dr. Sharma was born in Bhopal on August 19, 1918. He was a PhD. from Cambridge University. He was a Bar-at-Law, Lincoln`s Inn and Harvard Law School. He participated in the freedom movement and underwent spells of imprisonment. He was President of the Indian National Congress from 1972 to 1974,Chief Minister of erstwhile Bhopal State for 4 years and Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra. He was sworn in as the Vice-President of India on September 3, 1987.

13. K. R. Narayanan

K. R. Narayanan, the only dalit President of India, was born in Kerala on 4th February, 1921. He began his career as a journalist in Delhi, and went on to study Political Science at the London School of Economics. His public service career began under Nehru administration when he joined the IFS. He later entered politics at Indira Gandhi`s request and won three successive general elections to the Lok Sabha.

He became the first Indian President to vote in the general election of 1998. He was elected the Vice-President of India in 1992, and was sworn in as the President of India on July 25, 1997, with 95% of the votes in the Electoral College. He passed away in November, 2005.

First Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 00:00
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