Formation of Indian National Congress
Between 1875 and 1885 there were many agitations against British policies in India. In December 1884, Allan Octavian Hume, a retired English ICS officer, presided over a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Madras.
The formation of a political organization that would work on an Indian basis was discussed and the idea of forming the India National Congress emerged in this meeting. The Indian National Congress was formed on 28 December 1885 in Bombay.
Another important founding member was W.C. Bonnerjee, who was elected the first president. The activities of INC then revolved around petitions and memoranda, from the very beginning the founders of the INC worked to bring every section of the society into its ambit.
The main mission of the INC was to weld the Indians into a nation. They were convinced that the struggle against the English rule will be successful only if the Indians feel like a member of the nation.
The INC provided the space where the political workers from different parts of the country could gather and conduct their political activities under its banner. It was the beginning of the mobilization of people on an all-India basis.
Demands of Indian National Congress
Opportunity for participation in the government. It demanded Indian representation in the government.
It demanded a reduction in the land revenue and protection of peasants against exploitation of the zamindars.
It advocated the imposition of a heavy tax on imported goods for the benefit of swadeshi goods.
To conduct the Indian Civil Service Exam simultaneously in India and England was the major demand of Congress.
Due to the partial treatment of the Indian Political activist by English Judges, congress demands separation of the Executive and the Judiciary.
Early Nationalists in Congress (1885-1915)
The early nationalist in the INC came from the elite section of the society. They were Lawyers, College and School Teachers, doctors, journalists, etc represented the congress.
They came from different regions of the country. These leaders of the INC adopted the constitutional methods of presenting petitions, prayers, and memorandums and thereby they earned their name as “Moderates”.
They were developing the Indigenous anti-colonial ideology and a strategy on their own which helped leaders like M.K.GANDHI. From the late 1890s, there were differences grown within the INC.
Leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Lala Lajpat Rai were advocating radical approaches. These advocates of radical methods came to be called Extremists.
The extremists were against the moderates. Their objective became clear in 1897 when Tilak raised the slogan “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it“.
Tilak and his militant followers were requesting swaraj instead of economic or administrative reforms. Both the Extremist and moderates contributed to the making of the swadeshi movement.
The method of mass mobilization and boycott of British Goods and institutions suggested by the radicals was also accepted by the moderates.
Both extremists and moderates tried to instil nationalist consciousness through various means including the press. Congress one-third of people were journalists.
Dadabhai Naoroji founded and edited two journals called Voice of India and Rast Goftar. Surendranath Banerjea edited the newspaper called Bengalee.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak edited Kesari and Mahratta. For the first time in the history of India, the Press was used to generate public opinion against the oppressive policies and acts of the colonial government.
On 27 July 1897, Tilak was arrested under section 124 A of IPC.
Indian national congress sessions from 1885 to 1947
|1st Session||Bombay||Dec. 28-30, 1885||Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee|
|2nd Session||Calcutta||Dec. 27-30, 1886||Shri Dadabhai Naoroji|
|3rd Session||Madras||Dec. 27-30, 1887||Badruddin Tyabji|
|4th Session||Allahabad||Dec. 26-29, 1888||George Yule|
|5th Session||Bombay||Dec. 26-28, 1889||Sir William Wedderburn|
|6th Session||Calcutta||Dec. 26-30, 1890||Pherozeshah Mehta|
|7th Session||Nagpur||Dec. 28-30, 1891||P. Ananda Charlu|
|8th Session||Allahabad||Dec. 28-30, 1892||Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee|
|9th Session||Lahore||Dec. 27-30, 1893||Shri Dadabhai Naoroji|
|10th Session||Madras||Dec. 26-29, 1894||Alfred Webb|
|11th Session||Pune||Dec. 27-30, 1895||Surendranath Banerjee|
|12th Session||Calcutta||Dec. 28-31, 1896||Rahimatullah M. Sayani|
|13th Session||Amraoti||Dec. 27-29, 1897||C. Sankaran Nair|
|14th Session||Madras||Dec. 29-31, 1898||Ananda Mohan Bose|
|15th Session||Lucknow||Dec. 27-29, 1899||Romesh Chunder Dutt|
|16th Session||Lahore||Dec. 27-29, 1900||N.G. Chandavarkar|
|17th Session||Calcutta||Dec. 26-28, 1901||Dinshaw Eduljee Wacha|
|18th Session||Ahmedabad||Dec. 28-30, 1902||Surendranath Banerjee|
|19th Session||Madras||Dec. 28-30, 1903||Lal Mohan Ghosh|
|20th Session||Bombay||Dec. 26-28, 1903||Sir Henry Cotton|
|21st Session||Banaras||Dec. 27-30, 1905||Gopal Krishna Gokhale|
|22nd Session||Calcutta||Dec. 26-29, 1906||Shri Dadabhai Naoroji|
|23rd Session (Suspended)||Surat||Dec. 26-27, 1907||Rash Behari Ghosh|
|23rd Session||Madras||Dec. 28-30, 1908||Rash Behari Ghosh|
|24th Session||Lahore||Dec. 27-29, 1909||Madan Mohan Malaviya|
|25th Session||Allahabad||Dec. 26-29, 1910||Sir William Wedderburn|
|26th Session||Calcutta||Dec. 26-28, 1911||Bishan Narayan Dar|
|27th Session||Bankipore||Dec. 26-28, 1912||Shri Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar|
|28th Session||Karachi||Dec. 26-28, 1913||Nawab Syed Mohammed Bahadur|
|29th Session||Madras||Apr. 14-15, 1914||Bhupendra Nath Bose|
|30th Session||Bombay||Dec. 27-29, 1915||Satyendra Prasanna Sinha|
|31st Session||Lucknow||Dec. 26-30, 1916||Ambica Charan Mazumdar|
|32nd Session||Calcutta||Dec. 26-29, 1917||Annie Besant|
|33rd Session||Delhi||Dec. 26-30, 1918||Madan Mohan Malaviya|
|(Special Session)||Bombay||Aug. 29-01, 1918||Romesh Chunder Dutt|
|34th Session||Amritsar||Dec. 26-30, 1919||Motilal Nehru|
|35th Session||Nagpur||Dec. 26-30, 1920||C. Vijayaraghavachariar|
|36th Session||Ahmedabad||Dec. 27-28, 1921||Hakim Ajmal Khan (Acting President for C.R. Das)|
|37th Session||Gaya||Dec. 26-31, 1922||Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das|
|Special Session||Delhi||Sep. 04-08, 1923||Maulana Abul Kalam Azad|
|39th Session||Belgaum||Dec. 26-27, 1924||M.K. Gandhi|
|40th Session||Cawnpore||Apr. 15-17, 1925||Mrs. Sarojini Naidu|
|41st Session||Gawahati||Dec. 26-28, 1926||S. Srinivasa Iyengar|
|42nd Session||Madras||Dec. 26-28, 1927||M.A. Ansari|
|43rd Session||Calcutta||Dec. 29-01, 1929||Motilal Nehru|
|44th Session||Lahore||Apr. 16-18, 1929||Pt Jawaharlal Nehru|
|45th Session||Karachi||Mar. 21-31, 1931||Vallabbhai J. Patel|
|47th Session||Calcutta||Sep. 12-14, 1933||Mrs. Nellie Sengupta|
|48th Session||Bombay||Oct. 24-28, 1934||Dr. Rajendra Prasad|
|49th Session||Lucknow||Jun. 18-20, 1936||Pt Jawaharlal Nehru|
|50th Session||Faizpur||Jul. 12-14, 1937||Pt Jawaharlal Nehru|
|51st Session||Haripura||Feb. 19-21, 1938||Subhash Chandra Bose|
|52nd Session||Tripura||Mar. 10-12, 1939||Subhash Chandra Bose|
|53rd Session||Ramgarh||Mar. 19-20, 1940||Maulana Abul Kalam Azad|
|54th Session||Meerut||Nov. 23-24, 1946||J.B. Kripalani|