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THE BIRTH OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

THE BIRTH OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

  • The First session of congress which was held in Dec, 1885 in Bombay was preceded by two sessions of Indian National Conference in 1883 and 1885.
  • These two sessions were organised by Surendranath Banerjea and Ananda Mohan Bose.
  • It drew leaders from all the presidencies and served as a precursor to Indian National Congress.
  • The first session of congress was presided by Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee and it was attended by 72 delegates.
  • The Indian National Congress met every year in Dec. It was led by a leadership which believed in moderation hence known as moderates.
  • This leadership was western educated and therefore believed in peaceful ways of petition and representation.
  • They had faith in higher echelons of British administration. However, participation of masses was still a distant dream.
  • Nevertheless, they were not parochial like earlier leaders who demanded reforms benefitting only a particular section of society (mainly landholding upper caste aristocracy).
  • Hereafter, the prominence of moderates gradually declined and this gave rise to another group within congress, known as ‘extremists’.
  • The work of congress was supplemented by other provincial and local organisations apart from newspapers, journals and public meetings.                            THE BIRTH OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
  • In 1890, Kadambini Ganguly, the first woman graduate of Calcutta University, addressed the congress session which was held in Calcutta and presided by Pherozeshah Mehta.
  • This highlighted the need of bringing women into the mainstream national politics.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONGRESS

The Indian National Congress was formed to –

  1. Raise awareness among people regarding political questions and inculcate a spirit of nationalism among them
  2. Provide a meeting ground for exchange of ideas among different provincial groups
  3. Draft and petition government to introduce popular reforms
  4. Provide a platform to foster greater unity among different people irrespective of caste, region, language, or religion.                                      THE BIRTH OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

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