The Indian National Congress is the oldest political party in India. The current president of this party is Sonia Gandhi. The youth organization of the Congress party is the ‘Indian Youth Congress’. The ‘Indian National Congress’ was founded on December 28, 1885, at noon in the building of ‘Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College’ in Bombay. Its founder ‘A.O. Hume and Vyomesh Chandra Banerjee were made the first president. The idea of establishing the Indian National Union first came to Lord Dufferin’s mind. Surendranath Banerjee did not participate in the first session of Congress. In 1916 AD, Lala Lajpat Rai wrote in an article in ‘Young India’, ‘Congress is the brainchild of Lord Dufferin’.
Purpose Of The Establishment
Following were some of the important objectives of the Indian National Congress-
- To encourage mutual contact and friendship among Indians striving in the direction of national interest.
- Encouraging the spirit of national unity by ending disputes related to religion, race, and region within the country.
- To discuss important and necessary social subjects with the full consent of the educated class.
- To decide in which direction and on what basis work should be done for the welfare of Indian people in the coming years.
The organization called ‘Indian National Congress’ was started by the English-educated people of India, and it is not surprising that there were some of its presidents had received their education abroad. The first three presidents, Womesh Chandra Banerjee, Dadabhai Naoroji, and Badruddin Tyabji, came from Britain after studying barrister. George Yule and Sir William Baderwern were Englishmen, and the same can be said of some of their other followers, such as Alfred Bebb and Sir Henry Cotton. He was educated in the nineteenth century when democratic values and independence dominated in England. The early leaders of Congress had full faith in the reformist (radical) and liberal (liberal) leaders of Britain. The founder of the Indian Congress was also an Englishman, who remained the General Secretary of the Congress for 15 years. Ai. O. Hume was a product of British culture.
Madan Mohan Malviya, in his first speech, which he gave in the second Congress session held in Calcutta in 1886, said- “What good will the British do without representative institutions? Representative institutions are as essential a part of Britain as that of its language and literature.” The fourth session of the Congress was held in Allahabad under the chairmanship of George Yule, in which a demand was made to appoint a parliamentary committee, which would consider the demands of the Congress to implement the declaration of 1858 AD and accept political reforms. It was also decided to request Bradley, a Member of Parliament, to give his support for the same.
This biggest political organization of Indians was established on December 28, 1885. Its first session was held in Bombay under the chairmanship of Umeshchandra Banerjee, barrister of the Calcutta High Court. It is said that Viceroy Lord Dufferin (1884-88 AD) indirectly supported the establishment of the Congress. It is true that a retired British officer, Anal Octavian Hume, was the father of the Congress and after his death in 1912, the Congress declared him as its ‘father and founder’. According to Gokhale, in 1885, no one else could have established the Congress except Hume. But the facts seem to be, as C.Y. Chintamani thinks that the idea of a National Conference was raised in the minds of many people for political purposes and it came to fruition in 1885 AD.
The Truth About The Establishment Of Congress
Indian National Congress was founded on December 28, 1885, by retired I.C.S. It was done by Scottish resident Allan Octavian Hume (A.O. Hume) with the help of only 72 political activists of the ‘Theosophical Society’. This was the first organized expression of nationalism on an all-India basis. After all, why did these 72 people establish the Congress and why did they choose this time for it? A myth has long been associated with this question, and the myth itself holds considerable power. This myth of a ‘Safety Valve’ is being fed into the minds of students and political workers for the last several generations. But when one peeps into the depths of history, it will be known that this myth does not have as much power as is commonly believed about it. The myth is that A.O. Hume and his 72 companions had established the Indian National Congress at the behest of the British Government.
Also, in 1939 AD, the director of ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh M.S. Golwalkar also used this concept of ‘safety valve’ to label the Congress as anti-nationalist because of its secularism. He said in his pamphlet ‘V’ (We) that the Hindu national consciousness has been destroyed by those who claim to be nationalists.’ According to Golwalkar, the policies laid down by Hume Cotton and Wedderburn in 1885 were responsible – these people had established the Congress as a safety valve against the nationalism that was boiling at that time.