Sunday, 30 May 2010
Cottonman among founders of INC
Dadabhai Naoroji (4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917), known as the "Grand Old Man of India", was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political leader. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India's wealth into Britain. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP.He is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha.
Naoroji was the son of Maneckbai and Naoroji Palanji Dordi, born into a poor family of Parsi-Zoroastrian priests in Navsari in Southern Gujarat. His father died when he was four, leaving his illiterate mother to raise him.Naoroji was educated at Elphinstone College, Bombay. At the early age of 25, he was appointed leading Professor at the Elphinstone Institution in 1850, becoming the first Indian to hold such an academic position.Being an Athornan (ordained priest), Naoroji founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path) on 1 August 1851 to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its original purity and simplicity. In 1854, he also founded a fortnightly publication, the Rast Goftar (or The Truth Teller), to clarify Zoroastrian concepts. By 1855 he was Professor of Mathematics and Natural philosophy in Bombay. He travelled to London in 1855 to become a partner in Cama & Co, opening a Liverpool location for the first Indian company to be established in Britain. Within three years, he had resigned on ethical grounds. In 1859 he established his own cotton trading company, Naoroji & Co.Later he became professor of Gujarati at University College London.