Question: Dadabhai Naoroji was the first true nationalist politician of modern India. Enumerate the role of Dadabhai Naoroji in India’s freedom struggle.
Answer: Dadabhai Naoroji was a politician, freedom fighter and also a social reformer who played a major role in early phases of freedom struggle.
He is better known as ‘Grand Old Man of India’ for his long-lasting service to the country and the people.
- Early political organizations
Naoroji played a major role in setting up of early political organizations such as Bombay Association and also East India Association in London.
- Co-founder of INC
Naoroji took a keen interest in forming Indian National Congress. He also served as its President for three annual sessions.
- Member of Parliament
Naoroji contested elections from London to British Parliament and was the first MP of Asian descent. He fought for the rights of Indians.
- Drain theory
The ‘drain theory’ was proposed by Naoroji which gave an account of economic misrule by British in India. He wrote a book called Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.
Naoroji was a political mentor to new upcoming politicians and freedom fighters such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi.
- Parsi reform movement
He established the Rahnumai Mazdayasan Sabha that aimed at reforming the Parsi religion and restoring it to past simplicity and purity.
- Spiritual message
He published the magazine Rast Goftar to spread the teachings of Zoroastrianism and promote Parsi social reforms.