A True Nationalist
(1825 - 1917)
Dadabhai Naoroji popularly known as the "Grand Old Man of India" was a great nationalist. He established the `East India Association" in England in 1866 to serve as a forum for the ventilation of grievances against the exploitation of British Government. He, in his book "Poverty and Un -British rule in India" exposed that poverty and economics backwardness of India were not inherent in local conditions, but were caused by colonial rule which was draining India of its wealth and capital. The book was published in 1901.
Dadabhai Naoroji, a great leader of Indian national movement was born in 1825 in a Parsi family in Mumbai. He did his schooling in Bombay and completed his Master degree in Mathematics. Having worked as a professor of Mathematics, he went to England to manage the business interest of Cama and Co. He was the first Indian to become a Member of the House of the commons on the Liberal party`s ticket, where he fervently pleaded the cause of his country.
Naoroji established the "East India Association" in England in 1866 to discuss Indian questions to influence British public opinion. Branches of the Association were organised in major Indian cities. Dadabhai voiced the grievances of the Indians in Britian. His consistent effort led to his winning the support of eminent Englishmen and was able to exercise considerable influence in the British parliament.
Dadabhai was the first Indian to draw the attention of the Indians as well as the British public to the drain of wealth from India to Great Britian and the resulting poverty of the Indians. He warned, if his exploitation was not put to an end, India would be sucked dry. The economic analysis of the British rule was one of he greatest contribution of Naoroji to Indian Freedom Struggle.
Naoroji had faith in the British sense of fair - play and justice. He advocated complete loyality to the British Government. Indian people showered boundless affection on him for his service and in recognition of his service to the country, he was elected the president of the Indian National Congress thrice in 1886, 1893, and 1906. He was hailed as the "Grand Old Man of India"
The pioneer in the upliftment of women`s education Naoroji laid the foundation of "Jyan Prasarak Mandal" a girls High school in Bombay. In 1852, he founded Bombay Association. He, along with N.C. Banarjee established the "London Indian Society" for a closer relationship between the Indians and the Englishmen.
Naoroji dedicated his entire life and wealth to the Indian National Movement. He kept in touch with youths all through his life and continuously developed his though and politics in a radical direction. He died in 1917 at the age of 92 leaving behind a glorious record for the future generation to follow him.