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Dadabhai Naoroji

Freeindia > Biographies > Great Leaders > Dadabhai Naoroji
Dadabhai Naoroji

Extant during Kaliyuga's years 4936 to 5018 ( 1835 to 1917 A.D.)

Born in a Parsi family of Maharashtra, Dadabhai Nauroji had been a great Indian patriot, a political leader and a social reformer. One who carried the resoundings of ' the right to self-rule ' of India in the British Parliament, Dadabhai Nauroji was the pioneer of the constitutional movement for the independence of India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress' and thrice he became its president. He was the first Indian to be elected to the British Parliament in 1892 ( Kaliyuga's year 4993 ) as a candidate of the British Liberal Party. Through a deep study of the British Economic policies he proved the Drain Theory in accordance with which the wealth of India was flowing towards England.

Born: September 4, 1825, Bombay, India.

Died: June 30, 1917, Bombay, India.

The "grand old man of India", was born to a Parsi priest's family in Bombay on September 4, 1825. He studied in Elphinstone College and became a professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy there at the age of 27. He was the first Indian to become a professor of the college.

At age thirty, he left for England, where he was to spend most of his life writing about the condition of people in India and trying to influence public opinion for Indian self-rule. He lost an election to the British Parliament as a member of the Liberal party in 1886, but was elected from Central Finsbury, London, in 1892 as a Liberal member. In 1895 he was appointed to the royal commission on Indian expenditure. He was instrumental in propagating the view that India was too heavily taxed, and its wealth was flowing to England. These views were summarised in his book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India, published in 1901.

He returned to India on several occasions; once in 1895, at the request of the Gaekwad of Baroda to serve as his chief minister. He resigned two years later over a difference in opinions about political reforms in the princely state.

He was present at the first meeting of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and was thrice elected to the post of the president, in 1886, 1893 and again in 1906. During his third term, he prevented a split between moderates and extremists in the party. The Congress' demand for swaraj (independence) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906. He died in Bombay on June 30, 1917.

1825-1917, Indian nationalist leader. The son of a Parsi priest, at 27 he became professor of mathematics at Elphinstone Institution, Bombay. At 30 he left for England to start a career in business. He worked for an improvement in British policies toward India. He was particularly concerned about the economic consequences of British rule for India, and he wrote and lectured extensively on the "drain" of wealth, or unilateral transfer of resources from India to Britain, which he regarded as the principal cause of Indian poverty. His writings on this subject, especially his classic study, Poverty and Un-British Rule in India (1901), played a major role in arousing and stimulating economic nationalism in India. Active for more than 60 years in Indian social and political causes, he served three times as president of the Indian National Congress (1886, 1893, 1906). He was the first Indian to be elected a member of the British Parliament-in 1892, as a Liberal. As a member of Parliament he was instrumental in securing the appointment of a royal commission on Indian expenditure, the Welby Commission, and served on it as its sole Indian member. The younger generation of nationalist leaders, including such men as Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohandas K. Gandhi, regarded him as their mentor, and he was affectionately hailed as the Grand Old Man of India.

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Published on: 2003-02-03 (9209 reads)

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Dadabhai Naoroji
Dadabhai Naoroji
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