Fahad Ahmad is an Indian student leader and political activist. He served as the General Secretary of the Tata Institute of Social Science Student’s Union. He was appointed as president of the Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha.
Fahad Zirar Ahmad was born on Sunday, 2 February 1992 (age 31 years; as of 2023) in Baheri, Uttar Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. He did his schooling at Zakir Hussain Model Higher Secondary School in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. When he was in studying in class 9, his father sent him to Aligarh Muslim University. In 2014, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in Commerce at Aligarh Muslim University. In 2016, Ahmad opted for a Master of social work course at the Central University of Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala. In 2018, he graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. In an interview, while talking about he got into social work, Ahmad said,
While my interest in student politics began there, it’s not until I joined the Central University of Himachal Pradesh for a Masters in Social Work that I knew, I wanted to work for the people.”
A childhood picture of Fahad Ahmad
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Zirar Ahmad. Fahad is the eldest of five children of his parents. In an interview, while talking about his father, Ahmad said,
I remember my father leading social campaigns. He also helped families that were unable to rustle up finances to go on Haj. It was this environment that nurtured my activism.”
Fahad Ahmad with his parents
Fahad Ahmad with his brother
On 6 January 2023, he got married to Swara Bhaskar, an Indian actress. They registered their wedding in court under the Special Marriage Act.
Swara Bhaskar and Fahad Ahmad’s wedding photo
He follows Islam.
On 1 August 2022, Fahad joined Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. Later, he became the president of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, which is the youth wing of the Samajwadi party.
Fahad Ahmad after becoming president of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha
While he was a student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, he was elected as the general secretary of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Student Union (2017-2018).
Fahad has participated in several protests and rallies across India including the Anti-CAA NRC protests, the August Kranti Maidan protest, and the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Fahad Ahmed arrested for protesting against a brutal assault on students in North-East in 2021
In 2020, he was one of the protestors who silently protested against CAA at the Wankhede cricket stadium during India vs. Australia ODI series.
#Wankhede Stadium shouting slogans of NO NPR,NRC and CAA.
MUMBAI i love more and more.#INDvAUS#RishabhPant@naukarshah@ReallySwara @Mdzeeshanayyub @hussainhaidry @UmarKhalidJNU pic.twitter.com/QPObVkKptY
— Fahad Ahmad (@FahadZirarAhmad) January 14, 2020
On 4 March 2013, he founded SOCH beyond the imagination, which is a relief camp in Muzaffarnagar, with activist Faisal Khan. From 17 June 2015 to 31 July 2015, he interned at the Amrit Foundation of India.
Refused to accept the degree
In 2018, the students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences protested against the institute’s management’s decision over withdrawing financial aid from the SC, ST, and OBC students, who were eligible for the Government of India Post-Matric Scholarship (GoIPMS). During the convocation ceremony, more than 400 students protested in which nine students refused to accept the degrees and 300 students wore badges to protest the administration. Fahad Ahmad was one of the nine students who refused to accept an MPhil degree from the university’s chairperson.
Fahad Ahmad refusing to accept the degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ chairman
The management claimed that Fahad’s actions were an insult to the university and rejected his registration into the PhD program. In an interview, while commenting on this, Ahmad said that the institute was “bowing to the agenda fixed by the government” and also said,
We have nine students, most of whom are from the reserved categories, who refused to collect the degrees, and more than 300 students wearing the badges in protest. The matter could have been easily resolved had the institute shown the resolve to demand money from the Tata Trust. Rupees 2 crore is a paltry amount for an institute that deals in crores of rupees.”
In an interview, while talking about the issue of PhD degree, Fahad said,
I have been denied registration because I was fighting for social justice and I didn’t quit the struggle even when other student union members left. I have been denied my right to a quality education because it’s easy to target a Muslim even now and because asking questions and voicing an opinion is not allowed in this country. I have been denied registration because I challenged an undeclared emergency in TISS and in our country at large. I and several other students are facing punishment for participating in the protest as the administration has stalled our JRF forms. But we are in this fight together.”
Awards & Achievements
Under 39 Influencing personalities of Mumbai by Mid-Day
- Incidentally, during this time, he nearly left academics in the first semester, after he landed a job in Qatar. “But despite financial trouble, my father insisted that I study. He believed that education was the way forward.”
- Fahad and Swara Bhaskar both met each other for the first time during the anti-CAA NRC protests.
- In 2019, he was a speaker at the TEDxHindujaCollege event held at Hinduja college in Mumbai.
Fahad Ahmad during his TEDx talk on contemporary politics at Hinduja College, Mumbai
- On 14 December 2021, Fahad was invited to speak live on News18 Urdu on “CAA Wapsi ki Uthi Awaz.”
Fahad Ahmad as an invited speaker on News18 Urdu on 14 December 2021
- On 25 September 2022, he spoke on the National education policy 2020 at an event held in Mumbai.
Fahad Ahmad speaking about National education policy at an event in Mumbai