#SoftCover Speaking on his new book “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism” at ThePrint’s new collaboration with Harper Collins called ‘SoftCover’ and online launch, historian Dinyar Patel talks about the man who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru – Dadabhai Naoroji. Patel points out in this eminently readable biography that Naoroji is far more important to the idea of India than a man who first thought up the “drain of wealth” theory — how the British were sucking millions of pounds out of India every year — or the fact that he was the first Indian to be elected to the British Parliament, that he was the co-founder of the Indian National Congress along with Surendra Nath Bonnerjea and Allan Octavian Hume and that it was he who first thought up the idea of ‘Swaraj’. Watch :
Sir Jivanji Jamshedji Modi’s Speech at the Parliament of World Religions.1893 at Chicago
The glory of the Parliament of World Religions was most obvious in the opening ceremony, on Sept. 11, 1893. More than 4000 people had gathered in the Hall of Columbus, when at 10oclock a dozen representatives from different faiths marched into the hall hand in hand. At the same time, the Columbian Liberty bell, in the Court of Honour tolled ten times, honouring the ten great world religions—Confucianism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Among the speakers Swami Vivekananda’s three speeches drew the most attention.
The aim of the conference was to bring together in conference, for the first time in history, the leading representatives of the great historic religions of the world and to set forth, by those most competent to speak, what are deemed the important distinctive truths held and taught by each Religion.
Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha was requested by Dadabhai Navroji to prepare a paper on the Zoroastrian Religion to present at the Parliament. In the published report of the Parliament of Religions 1893 (Vol 1, p. 58) the President writes “Hon. Dadabhoy Navrojee, M.P., of London, Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, Dastur Dr. Jamaspi Minocher Jamasp Asa, M.A. Ph.D., and Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha, took active interest in the Parliament and enlisted the cooperation of the Parsis of India “However, Ervad Sheriarji Bharucha was unable to attend the Parliament.
Sir Jivanji Jamhedji Modi addressed this historic Parliament of World Religions in 1893.
He gives a detailed account of the religion, manners and customs of the Parsis. On the lighter side, he mentions, that the qualifications for a good husband are that he should be young, handsome, strong, brave, healthy, diligent, industrious, truthful, wise and educated. A good wife must be wise, educated, modest, courteous, obedient and chaste”. “According to the sad-dar, a wife who gives herself to her husband three times a day-in the morning, afternoon and evening performs as meritorious an act as that of saying her prayers three times a day”.
He explains, “Zoroastrianism or Parsism, by whatever name the system may be called is a monotheistic form of Religion. It believes in the existence of one God Ahura Mazda”. We might hardly conceive what human belief would be now had Zoroaster never existed.
The biggest Philanthropist — Maker of Modern Mumbai
His wife Lady Jeejeebhoy by making Mahim Causeway contributed to biggest wealth creation in Indian History Development of city of Mumbai
Today is the 237th Birth Anniversary of Sir JJ. His contribution towards building this great city is unparalleled and he could be rightly called founding father of Mumbai.
Following are the contributions of this great person and his family:
1) Before 1845 people beyond Mahim were traveling to city by ferries causing lot of hardships, deaths and other problems. To resolve this hardship faced by poor people Lady Jamshetji contributed full amount to construct the Mahim causeway bridge with a condition that there would be no toll.
In last 165 years the city has grown leaps and bounds unimaginably due to this great contribution.
Can we imagine anyone doing this today when even governments do not build anything without toll?
2) Sir JJ group of Hospitals and Grant Medical College.
Since 1845 this Institution is one of the oldest and best Institutes in Asia Ranked always in first 10 in India and one of the 8 institutes recognized by Singapore Medical Council is built on large Grant from Sir JJ.
This treats 1200000 OPD and 80000 indoor patients every year .
Must have treated at least 30 Crore patients in last 160 years
This is done before start of Mumbai University which means Sir JJ was a pioneer in education and he provided best health services almost FREE of cost to poor people.
3) Sir JJ Dharmashala running for last 150 years takes care of old and destitutes till today.
4) Sir JJ school of Architecture: One of the best in country and produced some of the best architects in India
5) Sir JJ school of Arts from where some of our finest artistes have emerged.
6) Sir JJ school of Commercial Art
7) He built innumerable schools hospitals and Agyaries.
Above all we all use Charni Road Railway Station. Do we know that all this precious land belonged to Sir JJ? He donated this land, again free of cost, to build Charni Road Station.
All these contributions could run into thousands of crores of rupees in today’s valuations. Mumbai owes a lot to this great person who was an orphan, completely self made , practically educated and knew what troubles the common man goes through.
My humble tribute and salute to this great Mahamanav who contributed towards modernity , growth and happiness of the
For his outstanding contributions Queen Victoria conferred baronetcy on India’s first Knight
I hope that you and your families are keeping well at the current moment.
I would like to announce the publication of my biography of Dadabhai Naoroji, Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism. It is being released by Harvard University Press today, 12 May, in the United States and will be released in India and the UK on 31 May (in India it will be released by HarperCollins).
Dadabhai Naoroji was much more than just a pioneering Indian nationalist, an innovative economic thinker, and the first Asian to be elected to the British Parliament. He was also a proponent of women’s rights in India and Britain, a supporter of certain socialist ideas, and an anti-imperialist of global significance, someone who forged links with Irish home rulers, American Progressives, African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, and colonized people from around the world.
Given the current extraordinary circumstances, I am not quite sure about the availability of physical copies in India after 31 May, but the Kindle edition should be available shortly.
To supplement the book, I’ve made some resources on Naoroji’s life available on a website: photographs, information on his life and family, some of his correspondence, old newspaper articles, and maps of London and Bombay that show landmarks associated with his life.
The book has been recently reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, and you can read the review here.
Dinyar Patel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Modern South Asia
Department of History
University of South Carolina
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.
The incredible story of the founder of Central Bank who with his idealism, hardwork and capability brought an iconic institution to reality. Comments by Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, Senior Banker, Author and Public speaker