Remembering Dadabhai Naoroji
Dadabhai Naoroji, a pioneer of many fields, was popularly known as ‘The Grand Old Man of India’. He was also an intellectual and an educator.
He became the first Asian man to be elected in British Parliament in 1892.
Moreover, he was the first Indian to become a professor at the Elphinstone Institute, Bombay (now Mumbai), where he taught mathematics and natural philosophy. He taught in the special classes which were held to encourage education for women.
Dadabhai Naoroji was a great public figure during 1845-1917. He was associated with the innumerable societies and organisations through which he voiced grievances of the Indian people and proclaimed their aims, ideals, and aspirations to the world at large.
Today, we bring you some facts about him:
- In 1855, he sailed for England to join the first Indian business firm to be established in Britain, Cama & Co, and three years later in 1859 he established his own business firm under his own name, Naoroji & Co
- During his time in England, Dadabhai delivered speeches and educated the British people about their responsibilities as rulers of India
- 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
- The Dadabhai Naoroji Road, in Mumbai is named in his honour
- He was patronized by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda and started his public life as the Dewan (Minister) to the Maharaja in 1874. He also served as a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai from 1885 to 1888
- He was elected the president of the Indian National Congress in 1886
- He moved to London in the late 1880s and was elected for the Liberal Party in Finsbury Central at the 1892 general election — becoming the first British Indian MP
- He spent his later years writing articles and giving speeches on the exploitation of India by the British, thus setting the foundation for the Indian Nationalist Movement
- In his many writings and speeches and especially in ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India (1901)’, he argued that India was too highly taxed and that its wealth was being drained away to England.