The Grand Old Man of India – Dadabhai Naoroji

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Dadabhai Naoroji

There are several Indian Fighters who dedicated their entire lives to ensure we get justice, independence, equal rights and a better life. Dadabhai Naoroji was a prominent name in the list of Indian leaders who laid the foundation of New India. In this blog, we will be covering his contributions, struggles, achievements and more!

“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.”

Who was Dadabhai Naoroji?

Dadabhai Naoroji, was also known as the “Grand Old Man of India” and “Unofficial Ambassador of India“. By profession, he was an Indian political leader, merchant, scholar and writer. He was also the Liberal Party Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, plus the first Asian to be a British MP.  

He was also renowned for his work in the Indian National Congress, for which he was one of the founding members and thrice the elected president. First time in 1886, second in 1893 and the last one in 1906.

Dadabhai Naoroji
Credits –

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Early Life and Career

Dadabhai Naoroji was born on September 4, 1825 in Navsari, Gujarat. He had a Parsi Zoroastrian family and started his education at Elphinstone Institute School. He started his career as Dewan (Minister) after being patronised by the Maharaja of Maharashtra, Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1874. Naoroji was an Athornan (ordained priest), and he founded the Rahnumai Mazdayasan Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path) on 1 August 1851. 

He also founded the Gujarati fortnightly publication, the Rast Goftar (or The Truth Teller), 1854,  which clarified the Zoroastrian concepts and promoted Parsi social reforms. Another newspaper was published by Naoroji, “The Voice of India” .

In December 1855, Naoroji became the Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Elphinstone College in Bombay. He was the first Indian to hold such an academic position. Dadabhai Naoroji established his own cotton trading company, Dadabhai Naoroji & Co. Later, he became a Professor of Gujarati at University College London.

Naoroji was again elected president of the Indian National Congress, in 1906. Naoroji was a guide to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He got married to Gulbai when he was 11. At the age of 91, Dadabhai Naoroji left. His sad demise was recorded on June 30, 1917 in Bombay.

Credits – Lok Sabha TV

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Tributes to Dadabhai Naoroji

Do you know there are places all over the world named after him? Well yes, these are some of them:

  • Dadabhai Naoroji Road, a heritage road of Mumbai
  • Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Karachi, Pakistan
  • Naoroji Street in Finsbury, London
  • Naoroji Nagar, A prominent residential colony for central government servants in south Delhi 

15 Major Contributions of Dadabhai Naoroji

Let’s witness all the works done by Dadabhai Naoroji during his lifetime:-

  1. He Started with the Rast Goftar Anglo-Gujarati Newspaper, 1854
  2. The manners and customs of the Parsees at Bombay in 1864
  3. The European and Asiatic races at London in 1866
  4. Admitted the educated natives into the Indian Civil Service at London in 1868
  5. The wants and means of India at London in 1876
  6. Condition of India at Madras in 1882
  7. Poverty of India which is a Paper Read Before the Bombay Branch of the East India Association, Bombay, Ranima Union Press, in 1876
  8. C. L. Parekh, ed., Essays, Speeches, Addresses and Writings of the Honourable Dadabhai Naoroji, Bombay, Caxton Printing Works (1887) 
  9. An excerpt, “The Benefits of British Rule”, in a modernised text by J. S. Arkenberg, ed., online at Paul Halsall, ed., Internet Modern History Sourcebook
  10. Lord Salisbury’s Blackman (Lucknow, 1889)
  11. The Parsee Religion. University of London
  12. Poverty and Un-British Rule in India
  13. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
Credits – DD News

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So this was all about the great Dadabhai Naoroji. Hope you liked it and are astonished by the fact what a single person could do so much for the nation. Keep following study abroad for more such engaging content!

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