It was the Indian National Union formed by A.O. Hume that assumed the name Indian National Congress at the conference held in Bombay, on December 1885, under the Presidentship of W.C. Banerjee, a veteran lawyer of Calcutta. It was attended by 72 delegates from all over the country.
The birth of the Indian National Congress was an unprecedented phenomenon in the political history of India. It marked the entry of the new educated middle class into national politics. The middle class, a byproduct of the British Raj, was mainly composed of three classes agricultural, industrial and professional. Each class had its own interests but a growing sense of nationalism often inscribed as patriotism united them in a common program of action.
The nucleus of the Congress leadership consisted of men from Bombay and Calcutta who met in 1860s and 1870s in London while studying Law or for ICS- Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Bannerji, Manmohan and Lalmohan Ghosh, Surendranath Banerji, Anandmohan Bose and Romeshchandra Dutt, who all fell under the influence of Dadabhai Naoroji who was then settled in England. Those among this group who did not join the ICS along with others like a Sadharan Brahmo Samaj group headed by Dwarkanath Ganguli in Calcutta, Ranade and G.V. Joshi in Poona, K.T. Telang in Bombay and little later G. Subramaniya Iyer, Viragahavachari and Anand Charlu in Madras, took the initiative in starting a number of organizations.
The most important among these were Poona Sarvajanik Sabha (1870), the Indian Association (1876), which organized the first all-India agitation in 1877, the Madras Mahajana Sabha (1884) and the Bombay Presidency Association (1885). Soon the need for a national organization was felt which led to the controversial initiative by Allan Octavian Hume and the first session in December 1885 of the Indian National Congress.
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