Dadabhai Naoroji (4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917), known as the Grand Old Man of India, was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political and social leader. He was a Liberal Party member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Indian to be a British MP, notwithstanding the Anglo-Indian MP David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, who was disenfranchised for corruption.
Naoroji is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India's wealth into Britain. He was also a member of the Second International along with Kautsky and Plekhanov .
Dadabhai Naoroji c. 1889
|Member of Parliament |
for Finsbury Central
|Preceded by||Frederick Thomas Penton|
|Succeeded by||William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring|
|Born||4 September 1825|
Navsari, Bombay, British India
|Died||30 June 1917 (aged 93)|
Bombay, British India
|Indian National Congress|
|Residence||London, United Kingdom|
|Alma mater||University of Mumbai|
|Committees||Legislative Council of Mumbai|
Naoroji was born in Bombay into a Gujarati-speaking Parsi family, and educated at the Elphinstone Institute School. He was patronised by the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad III, and started his public life as the Dewan (Minister) to the Maharaja in 1874. Being an Athornan (ordained priest), Naoroji founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path) on 1 August 1851 to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its original purity and simplicity. In 1854, he also founded a Gujarati fortnightly publication, the Rast Goftar (or The Truth Teller), to clarify Zoroastrian concepts and promote Parsi social reforms. In 1855, he was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the Elphinstone College in Bombay, becoming the first Indian to hold such an academic position. He travelled to London in 1855 to become a partner in Cama & Co, opening a Liverpool location for the first Indian company to be established in Britain. Within three years, he had resigned on ethical grounds. In 1859, he established his own cotton trading company, Dadabhai Naoroji & Co. Later, he became professor of Gujarati at University College London.
In 1865, Naoroji directed the launch the London Indian Society, the purpose of which was to discuss Indian political, social and literary subjects. In 1861 Naoroji founded The Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe alongside Muncherjee Hormusji Cama In 1867 Naoroji also helped to establish the East India Association, one of the predecessor organisations of the Indian National Congress with the aim of putting across the Indian point of view before the British public. The Association was instrumental in counter-acting the propaganda by the Ethnological Society of London which, in its session in 1866, had tried to prove the inferiority of the Asians to the Europeans. This Association soon won the support of eminent Englishmen and was able to exercise considerable influence in the British Parliament. In 1874, he became Prime Minister of Baroda and was a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai (1885–88). He was also a member of the Indian National Association founded by Sir Surendranath Banerjee from Calcutta a few years before the founding of the Indian National Congress in Bombay, with the same objectives and practices. The two groups later merged into the INC, and Naoroji was elected President of the Congress in 1886. Naoroji published Poverty and un-British Rule in India in 1901.
Elected to the British House of Commons as a result of the 1892 election, he served until 1895. During his time he put his efforts towards improving the situation in India. He had a very clear vision and was an effective communicator. He set forth his views about the situation in India over the course of history of the governance of the country and the way in which the colonial rulers rules.
Naoroji moved to Britain once again and continued his political involvement. Elected for the Liberal Party in Finsbury Central at the 1892 general election, he was the first British Indian MP. He refused to take the oath on the Bible as he was not a Christian, but was allowed to take the oath of office in the name of God on his copy of Khordeh Avesta. In Parliament, he spoke on Irish Home Rule and the condition of the Indian people. He was also a notable Freemason. In his political campaign and duties as an MP, he was assisted by Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the future Muslim nationalist and founder of Pakistan. In 1906, Naoroji was again elected president of the Indian National Congress. Naoroji was a staunch moderate within the Congress, during the phase when opinion in the party was split between the moderates and extremists. Naoroji was a mentor to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was married to Gulbai at the age of eleven. He died in Bombay on 30 June 1917, at the age of 91. Today the Dadabhai Naoroji Road, a heritage road of Mumbai, is named after him. Also, the Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Karachi, Pakistan is also named after him as well, as Naoroji Street in the Finsbury area of London. A prominent residential colony for central government servants in the south of Delhi is also named Naoroji Nagar. His granddaughters Perin and Khrushedben were also involved in the freedom struggle. In 1930, Khurshedben was arrested along with other revolutionaries for attempting to hoist the Indian flag in a Government College in Ahmedabad.
Dadabhai Naoroji's work focused on the drain of wealth from India to England during colonial rule of British in India. One of the reasons that the Drain theory is attributed to Naoroji is his decision to estimate the net national profit of India, and by extension, the effect that colonisation has on the country. Through his work with economics, Naoroji sought to prove that Britannia was draining money out of India. Naoroji described 6 factors which resulted in the external drain. Firstly, India is governed by a foreign government. Secondly, India does not attract immigrants which bring labour and capital for economic growth. Thirdly, India pays for Britain's civil administrations and occupational army. Fourthly, India bears the burden of empire building in and out of its borders. Fifthly, opening the country to free trade was actually a way to exploit India by offering highly paid jobs to foreign personnel. Lastly, the principal income-earners would buy outside of India or leave with the money as they were mostly foreign personnel. In Naoroji's book 'Poverty' he estimated a 200–300 million pounds loss of India's revenue to Britain that is not returned. Naoroji described this as vampirism, with money being a metaphor for blood, which humanised India and attempted to show Britain's actions as monstrous in an attempt to garner sympathy for the nationalist movement.
When referring to the Drain, Naoroji stated that he believed some tribute was necessary as payment for the services that England brought to India such as the railways. However the money from these services were being drained out of India; for instance the money being earned by the railways did not belong to India, which supported his assessment that India was giving too much to Britain. India was paying tribute for something that was not bringing profit to the country directly. Instead of paying off foreign investment which other countries did, India was paying for services rendered despite the operation of the railway being already profitable for Britain. This type of drain was experienced in different ways as well, for instance, British workers earning wages that were not equal with the work that they have done in India, or trade that undervalued India's goods and overvalued outside goods. Englishmen were encouraged to take on high paying jobs in India, and the British government allowed them to take a portion of their income back to Britain. Furthermore, the East India Company was purchasing Indian goods with money drained from India to export to Britain, which was a way that the opening up of free trade allowed India to be exploited.
When elected to Parliament by a narrow margin of 5 votes his first speech was about questioning Britain's role in India. Naoroji explained that Indians were either British subjects or British slaves, depending on how willing Britain was to give India the institutions that Britain already operated. By giving these institutions to India it would allow India to govern itself and as a result the revenue would stay in India. It is because Naoroji identified himself as an Imperial citizen that he was able to address the economic hardships facing India to an English audience. By presenting himself as an Imperial citizen he was able to use rhetoric to show the benefit to Britain that an ease of financial burden on India would have. He argued that by allowing the money earned in India to stay in India, tributes would be willingly and easily paid without fear of poverty; he argued that this could be done by giving equal employment opportunities to Indian professionals who consistently took jobs they were over-qualified for. Indian labour would be more likely to spend their income within India preventing one aspect of the drain. Naoroji believed that to solve the problem of the drain it was important to allow India to develop industries; this would not be possible without the revenue draining from India into England.
It was also important to examine British and Indian trade to prevent the end of budding industries due to unfair valuing of goods and services. By allowing industry to grow in India, tribute could be paid to Britain in the form of taxation and the increase in interest for British goods in India. Over time, Naoroji became more extreme in his comments as he began to lose patience with Britain. This was shown in his comments which became increasingly aggressive. Naoroji showed how the ideologies of Britain conflicted when asking them if they would allow French youth to occupy all the lucrative posts in England. He also brought up the way that Britain objected to the drain of wealth to the papacy during the 16th century. Naoroji's work on the drain theory was the main reason behind the creation of the Royal Commission on Indian Expenditure in 1896 in which he was also a member. This commission reviewed financial burdens on India and in some cases came to the conclusion that those burdens were misplaced.
Dadabhai Naoroji is regarded as one of the most important Indians during the independence movement. In his writings, he considered that the foreign intervention into India was clearly not favourable for the country.
Further development was checked by the frequent invasions of India by, and the subsequent continuous rule of, foreigners of entirely different character and genius, who, not having any sympathy with the indigenous literature – on the contrary, having much fanatical antipathy to the religion of the Hindus – prevented its further growth. Priest-hood, first for power and afterwards from ignorance, completed the mischief, as has happened in all other countries.
Naoroji is remembered as the "Grand Old Man of Indian Nationalism"
Bal Gangadhar Tilak admired him; he said:
If we twenty eight crore of Indians were entitled to send only one member to the British parliament, there is no doubt that we would have elected Dadabhai Naoroji unanimously to grace that post.
Here are the significant extracts taken from his speech delivered before the East India Association on 2 May 1867 regarding what educated Indians expect from their British rulers.
The difficulties thrown in the way of according to the natives such reasonable share and voice in the administration of the country ad they are able to take, are creating some uneasiness and distrust. The universities are sending out hundreds and will soon begin to send out thousands of educated natives. This body naturally increases in influence...
"In this Memorandum I desire to submit for the kind and generous consideration of His Lordship the Secretary of State for India, that from the same cause of the deplorable drain [of economic wealth from India to England], besides the material exhaustion of India, the moral loss to her is no less sad and lamentable . . . All [the Europeans] effectually do is to eat the substance of India, material and moral, while living there, and when they go, they carry away all they have acquired . . . The thousands [of Indians] that are being sent out by the universities every year find themselves in a most anomalous position. There is no place for them in their motherland . . . What must be the inevitable consequence? . . . despotism and destruction . . . or destroying hand and power. "
In this above quotation he explains his theory in which the British used India as a drain of wealth.
A plaque referring to Dadabhai Naoroji is located outside the Finsbury Town Hall on Rosebery Avenue, London.
He made the first attempt to estimate national income of India in 1867.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Frederick Thomas Penton
| MP for Finsbury Central
William Frederick Barton
Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee
| President of the Indian National Congress
| President of the Indian National Congress
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
| President of the Indian National Congress
Rash Behari Ghosh
The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 July to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, win the greatest number of seats, but not enough for an overall majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won many more seats than in the 1886 general election. The Liberal Unionists who had previously supported the Conservative government saw their vote and seat numbers go down.
Despite being split between Parnellite and anti-Parnellite factions, the Irish Nationalist vote held up well. As the Liberals did not have a majority on their own, Salisbury refused to resign on hearing the election results and waited to be defeated in a vote of no confidence on 11 August. Gladstone formed a minority government dependent on Irish Nationalist support.
The Liberals had engaged in failed attempts at reunification between 1886 and 1887. Gladstone however was able to retain control of much of the Liberal party machinery, particularly in the form of the constituency organisation known as the National Liberal Federation. Gladstone used the annual NLF meetings as a platform to consolidate various Liberal causes, particularly the Newcastle meeting of 1891, which gave its name to the radical Newcastle programme. This programme placed Irish Home Rule first, followed by Welsh and Scottish disestablishment, reduction in factory work hours, free education, electoral reform, land reform, reform or abolition of the House of Lords, and the removal of duties on basic foods. This programme would later be disowned by the party leadership following the Liberal defeat in the 1895 election (Haigh 1990, p. 259).
The election also saw the election of Britain's first Asian MP, with Dadabhai Naoroji being elected for Finsbury Central (The Guardian 2013).Catholic Colony
Catholic Colony is a neighborhood in Jamshed Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Initially a Christian neighborhood, it was constructed as two projects known as Catholic Colony No. 1 and Catholic Colony No. 2.The Catholic Colony 1 and 2 were new developments in the early 1900s and considered to be on the outskirts of the city. After the partition of India in 1947, the rapid expansion of the city put the Catholic Colonies in the heart of Karachi.Catholic Colony No. 1 is located opposite the Quaid's Mazar on M. A. Jinnah Road. Catholic Colony No. 2, is situated on Wedder Burn Road and Dadabhai Naoroji Road.Catholic Colony No. 1 falls within St. Lawrence’s Parish while Catholic Colony No. 2 is within the boundaries of Christ the King Parish.This Catholic Colonies were built and supervised by Anthony Venantius.The mother house of the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King is located in Catholic Colony No.2.Parts of the colonies are in a poor state with water shortages on the one hand and subsidence on the other.D.N. Nagar
D.N.Nagar is named after Dadabhai Naoroji. It is located within the triangle of Lokhandwala Complex, Seven Bungalows and Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme (JVPD).
The southern-most parts of D.N. Nagar are renamed as 'Upper Juhu' after a number of elite housing societies began construction in the area.
Its educational establishments include Pragat Vidya Mandir, Bhavan's College, Bhavan's A. H. Wadia High School, Bhavan's Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Bhavan's S. P. Jain Institute of Management, S C D Barfivala High School and Valia College.
D.N. Nagar is now accessible with Mumbai Metro which has an elevated station with the same name, located at India Oil Junction.Dadabhai Naoroji Road
Dadabhai Naoroji Road (D.N.Road), a North–South commercial artery road, in the Fort business district in South Mumbai of Maharashtra, India, is the nerve centre of the city, starting from the Crawford Market, linking Victoria Terminus, leads to the Flora Fountain at the southern end of the road. This entire stretch of the road is studded with Neo–Classical and Gothic Revival buildings and parks built in the 19th century, intermingled with modern office buildings and commercial establishments.Formerly known as the Hornby Road, a simple street within the Mumbai Fort, it was broadened into an avenue in the 1860s.With the objective of protecting the 19th century streetscape, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) launched a conservation project titled "Dadabhai Naoroji Road Heritage Streetscape Project" and implemented it successfully for which the MMRDA received the prestigious "UNESCO's Asia–Pacific Heritage Award of Merit", in the year 2004.Early Nationalists
The Early Nationalists, also known as the Moderates, were a group of political leaders in India active between 1885 and 1905. Their emergence marked the beginning of the organised national movement in India.
With members of the group drawn from educated middle-class professionals including lawyers, teachers and government officials, many of them were educated in England.
They have become known as "Early Nationalists" because they believed in demanding reforms while adopting constitutional and peaceful means to achieve their aims. The Early Nationalists had full faith in the British sense of justice, fair play, honesty, and integrity while they believed that British rule was a boon for India. The Early Nationalists were staunch believers in open-minded and moderate politics.Their successors, the "Assertives", existed from 1905 to 1919 and were followed by nationalists of the Gandhian era, which existed from 1919 until Indian Independence in 1947.Elphinstone College
Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It is reputed for producing luminaries like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Virchand Gandhi, Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozshah Mehta, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, Jamsetji Tata and for illustrious professors that includes Dadabhai Naoroji. It is further observed for having played a key role in spread of Western education in the Bombay Presidency.
The year 2006 marked the sesquicentennial celebrations of the college (1856–2006). At present it offers undergraduate level courses in the arts, sciences and commerce and is under the governance of the Maharashtra Government.Finsbury Central (UK Parliament constituency)
Finsbury Central was a parliamentary constituency that covered the Clerkenwell district of Central London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.Flora Fountain
Flora Fountain, at the Hutatma Chowk (Martyr's Square), is an ornamentally and exquisitely sculpted architectural heritage monument located at the southern end of the historic Dadabhai Naoroji Road, called the Mile Long Road, at the Fort business district in the heart of South Mumbai, Mumbai, India. Flora Fountain, built in 1864, is a fusion of water, architecture and sculpture, and depicts the Roman goddess Flora. It was built at a total cost of Rs. 47,000, or 9000 pounds sterling, a large sum in those days.Frederick Thomas Penton
Frederick Thomas Penton (1851 – 12 June 1929) was a British army officer and Conservative Party politician.He was the eldest son of Colonel Henry Penton, developer of the Pentonville area of London and his wife, Eliza Maria nee Langley of Brittas Castle, County Tipperary. He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1873 he received a commission in the 4th Dragoon Guards and served in the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882. He left the army with the rank of captain in 1884.He married Caroline Helen Mary Stewart of County Donegal in 1883. The couple had two children. He was an extensive land owner in a number of English counties, and was a justice of the peace for Buckinghamshire and the County of London, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex.In June 1886 he was unanimously selected by the Conservative Party to contest the seat of Finsbury Central. Penton won the seat, unseating the sitting Liberal Party member of parliament, Howard Spensley, by the narrow margin of 5 votes. At the next general election in 1892 he was defeated by Dadabhai Naoroji, who won the seat by 3 votes following a recount. In April 1893 he indicated that he would not stand for parliament again. He was High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire for the year 1896.He died at his home in South Kensington in June 1929, and was buried at St Peter's Church, Old Steine, Brighton.Indian Home Rule Society
The Indian Home Rule Society (IHRS) was an Indian organisation founded in London in 1905 that sought to promote the cause of self-rule in British India. The organisation was founded by Shyamji Krishna Varma, with support from a number of prominent Indian nationalists in Britain at the time, including Bhikaji Cama, Dadabhai Naoroji and S.R. Rana, and was intended to be a rival organisation to the British Committee of the Indian National Congress that was the main avenue of the loyalist opinion at the time.Founded on 18 February 1905, the IHRS was a metropolitan organisation modelled after Victorian public institutions of the time. It had a written constitution and the stated aims to "secure Home Rule for India, and to carry on a genuine Indian propaganda in this country by all practicable means". The IHRS was open for membership "to Indians only", and found significant support amongst Indian students and other Indian populations in Britain. It recruited from amongst young Indian activists, collected money, and may have been collecting arms and maintaining close contact with revolutionary movements in India. The society was foundations of the India House and, along with Krishna Varma's journal The Indian Sociologist, was the foundation of the militant Indian nationalist movement in Britain. After Krishna Varma's shift to Paris in 1907, the society gave way the secret nationalist society of Abhinav Bharat Mandal, founded by V.D. Savarkar. The society was founded amongst efforts and movements that arose to reverse the flow of authority and power from Britain to India. along with substantial help from Bhikaji Cama.London Indian Society
The London India Society was an Indian organisation founded in London in March 1865 under the leadership of Dadabhai Naoroji and W.C. Bonnerjee in London. The purpose of the organisation was to promote awareness of the rising Indian social and political aspirations in England, and to raise the profile of India related matters amongst British public.Mancherjee Bhownaggree
Sir Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree (15 August 1851 – 14 November 1933) was a British Conservative Party politician of Indian Parsi heritage. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the constituency of Bethnal Green North East in the Parliament of the United Kingdom between 1895 and 1906, the second Indian to be a British MP after fellow Parsi Dadabhai Naoroji, and the longest-serving British Asian MP until Keith Vaz (first elected in 1987).Naoroji
Naoroji may refer to:
Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917), Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader
Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Mumbai road
Naoroji Furdunji (1817–1885), Parsi reformer from Bombay
Prenolepis naoroji, species of ant in the subfamily Formicinae
Rishad Naoroji (born 1951), Indian billionaire environmentalistPerin Captain
Perin Ben Captain (1888–1958) was an Indian freedom fighter, social worker and the grand daughter of renowned Indian intellectual and leader, Dadabhai Naoroji. The Government of India honoured her in 1954, with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award for her contributions to the country, placing her among the first group of recipients of the award.Rast Goftar
Rast Goftar ("The Truth Teller") was an Anglo-Gujarati paper operating in Bombay that was started in 1851 by Dadabhai Naoroji and Kharshedji Cama and championed social reform among Parsis in Western India.Shapurji Saklatvala
Shapurji Dorabji Saklatvala (28 March 1874 – 16 January 1936) was a British politician of Indian Parsi heritage. In 1922, Saklatvala became the third ethnic Indian elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, following Dadabhai Naoroji and Mancherjee Bhownagree. He also was among the few members of the Communist Party of Great Britain to serve as a Member of Parliament.Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee
Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee (or Umesh Chandra Banerjee by current English orthography of Bengali names) (29 December 1844 – 21 July 1906) was an Indian barrister and was the first president of Indian National Congress.Zerbanoo Gifford
Zerbanoo Gifford is a British writer and human rights campaigner of Indian Zoroastrian origin.:124 She is honorary director of the ASHA Foundation, which she founded.:125Gifford was brought from India to Britain by her parents when she was three. She was educated at Roedean School, at Watford College of Technology, at the London School of Journalism and at the Open University. Her first book, The Golden Thread, was published in 1990.:124Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe
The Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE) is a religious, cultural and social organisation for Zoroastrians residing in Europe, namely the United Kingdom. It was founded on 31 October 1861 by Muncherjee Hormusji Cama and Dadabhai Naoroji.At the time of its founding, it was reported that there were approximately fifty Zoroastrians present in England who were mainly students. However, Zoroastrians have been present in the United Kingdom long before the foundation of the ZTFE; the first known Parsi arrival being Nowroji Rustom Maneck Sett (Nowroji Rustomji) in 1721 or 1724. Currently there are around 5,000 members of the ZTFE.
The secretariat and principal venue attached to the organisation is The Zoroastrian Centre located in the Rayners Lane area of Harrow. The centre is a Grade II* listed Art Deco former ACE cinema. Additionally the ZTFE also manage the "Parsee burial ground" established in 1862, at Brookwood Cemetery which is the only operating Zoroastrian burial ground in Europe.
Notable visitors to The Zoroastrian Centre in recent years include Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Dr Rowan Williams; the Archbishop of Canterbury; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.