Ghulam Nabi Azad is an Indian politician who is known for being one of the oldest leaders of the Indian National Congress. On 26 August 2022, he resigned from the party because of his resentment toward the party leaders.
Ghulam Nabi Azad was born on Monday, 7 March 1949 (age 73 years; as of 2022) in Soti village, Gandoh, Jammu and Kashmir. His zodiac sign is Pisces. He did his schooling at the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education, Srinagar. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Science at Gandhi Memorial Science College, Jammu and Kashmir and a master’s degree in Zoology (1972) at the University of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Ghulam Nabi Azad’s father’s name was Rahamatullah Batt, and his mother’s name was Basa Begum. He has three brothers, Liaqat Ali, Ghulam Ali Azad, and Ghulam Qadir Bhatt. All of them are politicians.
Ghulam Nabi Azad’s brother Ghulam Ali Azad
His sister’s name is Shakeela Begum.
Wife & Children
Ghulam Nabi Azad got married to Shameem Dev Azad, a Kashmiri singer in 1980.
Ghulam Nabi Azad with his wife
They have a son, Saddam Nabi Azad, and a daughter, Sofiya Nabi Azad.
Ghulam Nabi Azad’s son
Ghulam Nabi Azad with his daughter
Ghulam Nabi Azad resides at House No. 9, Hyderpora Byepass, District Badgam, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir.
Ghulam Nabi Azad’s signature
Azad started his political career in 1973 when he joined Indian National Congress as the secretary for the Block Congress Committee in Bhalessa. In 1975, he was nominated as the President of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Youth Congress. In 1980, he was appointed as the President of the All-India Youth Congress. In 1982, he was appointed as Deputy Minister in charge of the Law, Justice and Company Affairs Ministry in Central Government. From 1983 to 1984, he served as the Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting. In 1984, he was appointed as a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha. He served as the Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs from 1984 to 1986. In 1986, he was nominated as the Minister of State of Home Affairs. In October 1986, he worked as the Minister of State of Food and Civil Supplies. He was elected as the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from June 1991 till December 1992. In January 1993, he was elected as the Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism and worked there till May 1996. In 1996, he was appointed as a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir. In May 2004, he was elected as the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Union Minister of Urban Development and worked till October 2005. In 2005, he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2009, he was appointed as the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. In 2015, he was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha. From 2015 to 2021, he served as the leader of the opposition. In 2022, resigned from the Congress party.
In 2022, Azad attracted controversy after his name was nominated for Padma Bhushan Award. Many congress leaders took to social media to state that BJP was trying to convenience him to join BJP by offering him the award. Some of the leaders also suggested that it was unusual for BJP to recognize Azad’s social work that Congress could not recognize. Later, Azad took to Twitter to clarify the allegations and said,
Some mischievous propaganda being circulated by some people to create confusion. Nothing has been removed or added to my twitter profile.The profile is as it was earlier.”
In March 2022, Ghulam Nabi Azad was awarded Padma Bhushan by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Ghulam Nabi Azad receiving Padma Bhushan Award
- Deposits in Banks, Financial Institutions and Non-Banking Financial Companies: Rs. 81,25,676
Azad’s net worth as of 2008 was Rs. 85,45,676.
- Azad served as a member of INC for more than four decades till he resigned in 2022.
Ghulam Nabi Azad with Indira Gandhi
- Azad also worked in Manmohan Singh‘s government. In 2005, he was the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
Ghulam Nabi Azad with Dr. Manmohan Singh
- In 2012, when he was the Health Minister of India, he worked on the National Rural Health Mission, and also launched a National Urban Health Mission for the urban poor. In an interview, he said that people should marry between the age of 25 and 30 so that the population of the country is controlled. He further said,
If there is electricity in every village, people will watch TV till late night and then fall asleep. They won”t get a chance to produce children. When there is no electricity, there is nothing else to do but produce babies.”
- In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi got emotional while talking about Azad in his farewell speech after Azad’s tenure as a member of the Rajya Sabha ended. During the speech, he said,
There was a terrorist attack and eight people in Gujarat were killed. The first call I received was from Ghulam Nabi ji. The call was not just to inform me of the incident, but his tears were not stopping on the phone. It was of concern, like a family member.”
- In 2021, when he left Rajya Sabha, Azad said that he was proud to be a Hindustani Muslim. In the speech, he said,
I am among those fortunate people who never went to Pakistan. When I read about circumstances in Pakistan, I feel proud to be a Hindustani Muslim. If any Muslim should feel proud in the world, it should be the Indian Muslim. Over the years, we have seen how Muslims countries from Afghanistan to Iraq getting destroyed. There are no Hindus or Christians there – they are fighting amongst themselves.”
- On 16 August 2022, when Sonia Gandhi nominated Azad for the post of chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress campaign committee, he refused to be part of the committee and said,
The newly constituted campaign committee has ignored the aspirations of the party’s grassroot workers in J&K. Injustice has been meted out to them. That’s why Ghulam Nabi Azad has resigned as he was unsatisfied with the committee.”
- In June 2022, was nominated for Congress’ Rajya Sabha nominations. In an interview, he talked about his nominations and said,
Today a generation gap has come between the youth running the party and us. There is a difference between our thinking and their thinking. So the youth are not willing to work with the party veterans.”
- On 26 August 2022, he resigned from all positions in the Indian National Congress. In his resignation letter, he said that because of Rahul Gandhi, many senior and experienced leaders were sidelined in the party. On 28 August 2022, in an interview, he said that the rumours of him joining the BJP were wrong.
- Azad was considered the ‘crisis manager’ of the Congress party.
- In 2022, when he received the Padma Bhushan award, he said,
I like that someone recognised my work. Even during my ups and downs in different phases of my life, I always strived to work for the people, be it in the social or political sphere or as a (former) Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.”