Sayyid Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al Hussaini, popularly known as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was born on November 11, 1888 in Makkah. Azad was fluent in Arabic, Bengali, Hindustani, Persian and English.
Azad was home-schooled. He excelled in academics and by the time he was twelve, Azad was running a library, a reading room, and a debating society. By the time he was 15, Azad was teaching students twice his age. He completed the traditional course of education at the age of 16, nine years ahead of his contemporaries.
Azad also started composing poetry in Urdu language when he was a teenager. He gained prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj.
Azad was a Nationalist who vehemently criticized the British for racial discrimination and ignoring the needs of common people. He was against communal segregation and wanted to unite Indians from different backgrounds and religions in order to wage a war against the British.
Azad was drawn to journalism and politics from a young age. He became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress at the age of 35 in 1923.
The visionary leader was highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. Azad became the leader of the 'Khilafat Movement' and was actively involved in civil disobedience and the non-cooperation movement.
Azad became the most prominent Muslim leader to oppose the creation of Pakistan. He was in favor of a united and secular India. Azad became the first Minister of Education in independent India
In 1992, the great leader was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna. Azad breathed his last on February 22, 1958.