INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS – 1885


The Indian National Congress founded in 1885.

The birth of the Indian National Congress was not a sudden event.

It was a gradual effort of a number of educated Indians of Bengal and other regions who were very much dissatisfied and disgusted by the exploitative nature of the alien British rule.

The precursors of the Indian National Congress

The British Indian Association – 1843 [Bengal]

British India Association – [Bengal] in 1851,

Bombay Association -1852

India League – 1875,

Indian Association – 1876

National Conference -1883

From its foundation on 28 December 1885 until the time of independence of India on 15 August 1947, the Indian National Congress was considered to be the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, and central and defining influence of the Indian Independence Movement.

In May 1885, Alan O Hume secured the Viceroy’s approval to create an “Indian National Union“, which would be affiliated with the government and act as a platform to voice Indian public opinion.

It was founded upon the authority of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume.

Indian National Congress was created to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj.

The idea of a safety valve has also been associated with the birth of the Congress: the Congress provided a platform to Indians to bring out their resentment vocally.

Its initial aim was to divert the minds of Indians from any sort of physical violence.

On 28 December 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, with 72 delegates in attendance.

Alan O Hume assumed office as the General Secretary, and Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee of Calcutta was elected President.

Besides Hume, two additional British members were members of the founding group, William Wedderburn and Justice John Jardine.

The other members were mostly Hindus from the Bombay and Madras Presidencies.

Many Muslim community leaders, like the prominent educationalist Syyed Ahmed Khan, viewed the Congress negatively.

Orthodox Hindu community and religious leaders were also averse, seeing the Congress as supportive of Western cultural invasion.