Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad About this soundpronunciation (11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958) was an Indian scholar, Islamic theologian, independence activist, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress during the Indian independence movement. Following India's independence, he became the First Minister of Education in the Indian government Minister of Human Resource Development (until 25 September 1958, Ministry of Education) . He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad; the word Maulana is an honorific meaning 'Our Master' and he had adopted Azad (Free) as his pen name. His contribution to establishing the education foundation in India is recognised by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India.
As a young man, Azad composed poetry in Urdu, as well as treatises on religion and philosophy. He rose to prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. Azad became the leader of the Khilafat Movement, during which he came into close contact with the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. Azad became an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi's ideas of non-violent civil disobedience, and worked to organise the non-co-operation movement in protest of the 1919 Rowlatt Acts. Azad committed himself to Gandhi's ideals, including promoting Swadeshi (indigenous) products and the cause of Swaraj (Self-rule) for India. In 1923, at an age of 35, he became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress.