Dadabhai Naoroji

Indian politician leader, scholar and writer (1825–1917)
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Dadabhai Naoroji (Hindi: दादाभाई नौरोजी) (September 4, 1825June 30, 1917), given the sobriquet, the Grand Old Man of India, which was to his liking, belonged to the Parsi community of Bombay (now Mumbai). He was renowned as an intellectual, educationist, a business man in cotton trading, and most prominently as an early Indian political and social leader as the architect of Indian nationalism. He was the first Asian to become a British Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom's House of Commons from 1892 to1895. He founded the Indian National Congress in association with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha.

Dadabhai Naoroji, the "Grand Old Man of India" (1892)

Quotes edit

  • The former rulers were like butchers hacking here and there, but the English with their scientific scalpel cut to the very heart, and yet, lo! there is no wound to be seen, and soon the plaster of the high talk of civilization, progress, and what not, covers up the wound! The English rulers stand sentinel at the front door of India, challenging the whole world, that they do and shall protect India against all comers, and themselves carry away by a back-door the very treasure, they stand sentinel to protect.
    • (source: Poverty and Un-British Rule in India - By Dadabhai Naoroji - p. 211-213). [1]

Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India" edit

Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India". Zoroastrian Organization. Retrieved on 3 December 2013.

  • She made me what I am.
    • About his mother
  • Indians were British citizens with a birthright to be free and that they had every right to claim an honorable fulfillment of our British pledged rights....It is futile to tell me that we must wait till all the people are ready. The British people did not -wait for their parliament....Self-government is the only and chief remedy. In self-government is our hope, strength and greatness. I am a Hindu, a Muslim, a Parsi, but above all an Indian First.
    • In 1904 Dadabhai demanded "SWARAJ" Self Government for India.
  • Is it vanity that I should take great pleasure in being hailed as the Grand Old Man of India? No, that title, which speaks volumes for the warm, grateful and generous hearts of my countrymen, is to me, whether I deserve it or not, the highest reward of my life.
  • Be united, persevere, and achieve self-Government, so that the millions now perishing by poverty, famine, and plague may be saved, and India may once more occupy her proud position of yore among the greatest and civilized nations of the world".
    • In 1906 at the age of 80 when he became president of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta.

Narrow-majority’ and ‘Bow-and-agree’: Public Attitudes Towards the Elections of the First Asian MPs in Britain, Dadabhai Naoroji and Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree, 1885-1906 edit

Sumita Mukherjee. "‘Narrow-majority’ and ‘Bow-and-agree’: Public Attitudes Towards the Elections of the First Asian MPs in Britain, Dadabhai Naoroji and Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree, 1885-1906.". Journal of the Oxford University History Society (2 (Michaelmas 2004). Retrieved on 4 December 2013.

  • When the Marquis of Salisbury made a remark about me in connection with the Holborn contest, the whole Liberal Party – including our Great Leader – the Press, and the National Liberal Club … showed generous sympathy towards me
    • Page=8
  • The elections clearly showed me that a suitable Indian candidate has as good a chance as any Englishman, or even some advantages over an Englishman, for there is a general and genuine desire among English electors to give to India any help in their power.
    • His statement in Bombay page=11.
  • He was of opinion that we should be able to convince the general English public, the working man particularly, that the reforms that I advanced would be far more beneficial to the English nation, particularly to the working man...If India is prosperous and rich, she would buy far more English produce and give work proportionately to the working man.
    • His noting in his dairy after his contesting election in 1886 page=10.

Drain Theory edit

  • More than 20 years earlier a small band of Hindu students and thoughtful gentlemen used to meet secretly to discuss the effects of British rule in India. The home charges and the transfer of capital from India to England in various shapes, and the exclusion of the children of the country from any share or voice in the administration of their own country, formed the chief burden of their complaint.
  • Financially: All attention is engrossed in devising new modes of taxation, without any adequate effort to increase the means of the people to pay; and the consequent vexation and oppressiveness of the taxes imposed, imperial and local. Inequitable financial relations between England and India, i.e., the political debt of ,100,000,000 clapped on India's shoulders, and all home charges also…
  • Materially: The political drain, up to this time, from India to England, of above, 500,000,000, at the lowest computation, in principal alone...The further continuation of this drain at the rate, at present, of above, 12,000,000 per annum, with a tendency to increase.
    • Above two quoted by Dadabhai Naoroji as the estimated the economic costs and drain of resources from India, is an extract from one of his essays, “The Benefits of British Rule, 1871” in B Shantanu (6 February 2006). Drain of Wealth during British Raj. Retrieved on 4 December 2013.

About Dadabhai edit

Dadabhai Naoroji statue, near Flora Fountain in Mumbai
  • will, therefore oblige me greatly if you will kindly direct and guide me and make necessary suggestions which shall be received as from a father to his child.... The story of a life so noble and yet so simple needs no introduction from me or anybody else. May it be an inspiration to the readers even as Dadabhai living was to me.... And so Dadabhai became real DADA to me.
    • Gandhi in Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India"
  • There is no doubt... Dadabhai served his country with a sacrifice and singleness of purpose which it may be rightly said, without exaggeration, was rare. A devout follower of Zoroaster, he faithfully followed the ethics of that Great Prophet - pure in thought, word and deed.
  • The greatest gift the Parsis have bestowed on India is in your own good self.
    • The Congress reception committee chairman at Lahore observed when he was honoured he was in Golden Temple in Armritsar quoted in Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India"
  • One whose contributions to Britain by any standards remain memorable and who represented culture, intelligence and public spirit was Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Indian Member of [British] Parliament.
    • Kusoom Vadgama wrote in her book "India in Britain" quoted in Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India"
  • If we take stock of his life and his example, may I not say with perfect justice an trust that in his career, in all he did, in all he suffered, and in all he taught, he was the Prophet Zoroaster's religion personified, because he was the man more than anybody else of pure thought, of pure speech and of pure deeds.... The Sun that rose ninety-three years ago, over India is set, but I say, it is set to rise again in the form of regenerated India, for Dadabhai lived and worked for us with a devotion which must remain for all of us an inspiring example.
    • Excepts of Sir Narayan Chandavarkar’s tribute in Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji: "The Grand Old Man of India".

Narrow-majority’ and ‘Bow-and-agree’: Public Attitudes Towards the Elections of the First Asian MPs in Britain, Dadabhai Naoroji and Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree, 1885-1906 edit

  • However great the progress of mankind has been, and however far we have advanced in overcoming prejudices, I doubt if we have yet got to the point of view where an English constituency would elect a Blackman.
  • All I did was point out that you could not understand the meaning of the Holborn election in 1886 unless you remembered that the Liberal candidate was not only of a different race – widely separated from us – but that it was marked by his complexion...and that, in the existing state of English opinion was a very strong factor.
    • Above two comments of Lord Salisbury, the leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, in December 1888, on the defeat of Naoroji whom he had called as a “black man” in the 1886 election at as member of British Parliament from Holborn-. Page 3
  • Naoroji’s fair skin was often described as an advantage, as it meant that voters did not associate him with Africans.
    • The Weekly Dispatch noted page=5
  • The sting of the insult lies in the fact that a “black” means in ordinary parlance a “Negro”,’
    • In Pall Mall Gazette observed, page=5
  • He is not black nor anything like it, and we shall be surprised if he is the darkest member in the new House of Commons.
    • Critical comment in India by The Amrita Bazaar Patrika, page=5.
  • [His] name – so English is his look – might be Brown or Jones, did it not happen to be Dadabhai Naoroji’.
    • In 1886, by the Christian Million, page=5.
  • By far the larger proportion of the British subjects are black men, and to condemn a man merely for his colour was reminiscent of the ‘very worst days’ of slavery.
    • The Newcastle Leader reminded Lord Salisbury, page=6
  • ...the deep eyes of the Hindu and considerable learning in the mystic lore of the East.
    • In 1892 after his victory by a margin of 5 votes, The Evening News and Post made a poor remark on his looks, page=6

External links edit

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