Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian who became a professor of the college. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Indian National Congress and was the President of the Indian National Congress three times. Dadabhai Naoroji is also known as "Grand Old Man of India". He is seen as an architect who laid the groundwork for the Indian freedom struggle.
In 1825, Dadabhai Naoroji was born into a poor Parsi family with limited economic resources. His father died when Dada Bhai was four years old, and his mother raised him along with her two brothers. His mother ensured Dada Bhai got the best possible education. Dada Bhai excelled in Mathematics and English school subjects from a young age and went on to become one of India's greatest professors before he retired at the age of 58.
As a young Indian parliamentarian in the 1800s, Dadabhai Naoroji entered the political fray and fought against the renewal of the lease to the East India Company in 1853. He petitioned the British government to no avail, and so he instead started Gyan Prasarak Mandali (Society for Promotion of Knowledge) for the education of adult menfolk. Over time he developed his passion for advocacy and helped fellow Indians become aware of their plight. In 1855 at age 30, he set sail for England intending to make the British Parliament and people aware of India's woes.
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Despite his British citizenship, Dadabhai Naoroji believed in and advocated for the Indian independence movement. He joined multiple learned societies and spoke on topics such as the plight of India and its need for self-governance. He founded the East Indian Association on December 1st, 1866.
The Association was a group made up of high-ranking officers from India, influential people with access to MPs, and people from throughout India who wanted independence from international rule. Naoroji went on to win a seat in Parliament and hold preliminary exams for I.C.S. members by moving that they be conducted nationwide to reduce costs and create a more equitable distribution of quality recruits.
Dadabhai Naoroji is widely regarded as a key contributor to the initial establishment of the Indian National Congress, which was founded in 1885. He was three times elected President of the Indian National Congress, in 1886, 1893, and 1906. During his third term, he prevented a split between moderates and extremists within the party. He also made India's demand for swaraj (self-rule) first public in 1906. In 1917, he died at age 92 on June 30th.
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