At a time when East India Company was ruling British India, Dadabhai Naoroji laid the foundation of India’s contemporary freedom struggle.
In the 1906 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress, Dadabhai Naoroji adopted Swaraj or ‘self-government’ as the goal of Indian people.
This was definitely not the first time the demand had been made, either by Naoroji or by other nationalists, but it was probably the most prominent and publicized demand, till date.
So, Dadabhai Naoroji is not only remembered as the Grand Old Man of India but also as the Father of ‘Indian Freedom Struggle’.
Here are few lesser known facts about him you should know, on his birthday:
1. Born into a leading Parsi family, Naoroji served as the Professor of Mathematics at Elphinstone College and he was called ‘The Promise of India’ by another professor at the same institution.
2. In 1855, he sailed for England to join the first Indian business firm of the mercantile Cama family and 3 years later in 1859 established his own business firm under his own name.
3. During his time in England, Dadabhai delivered speeches and educated the British people about their responsibilities as rulers of India.
4. He established the Bombay Association in 1852 which was the first political association in India.
5. From his early childhood, he was sympathetic towards the social condition of the Indians. So for the betterment of his countrymen, he founded the Dnyan Prnasarak Mandali to educate the women.
6. He was the first Indian who brought to notice that the relation between the Government and the common people was that of a master and slave.
7. One of the founders of the Indian National Congress, Naoroji was very active during its inauguration that was held in Bombay.
8. Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’, considered him as his guide and mentor. This is what he had to say about The Great Old Man Of India:
9. He was elected to the British Parliament and became the first Asian to win a seat in the House of Commons.
10. After his death many places have been named after him, the Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Mumbai, the Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Karachi (Pakistan), Naoroji Street in London and Naoriji Nagar in Delhi.
Here’s wishing Dadabhai Naoroji, a peerless patriot who defined the modern Indian freedom struggle, a ‘Happy Birthday’ on his 190th birth anniversary..