Indian National Congress

Indian National Congress: An Introduction

72 political workers with the support of retired ICS officer Allan Octavian Hume (A.O Hume), laid foundation of Indian National Congress in December 1885. The first president, W.C Bonnerji identified three basic objective of Congress as:

  • Promotion of feeling and sentiments of national unity.
  • Create common platform for political workers, where they could gather and conduct political activities, educating and mobilizing people of all India-basis.
  • Educate & Spread Political democracy

In an effort to reach out to all the regions of India, it was decided to rotate the Congress Sessions in different parts of India and elect a President such that, he or she does not belong to region, where session is being conducted.
INC 1885

 Indian National Congress: Splits

Split 1:

The early phase of Congress from 1885 to 1905 was dominated by moderate ideology, which did not believed in organizing mass movements. But partition of Bengal in 1905, and subsequent Swadeshi movement resulted in rise of mass movement.

As a result in 1907 Congress was split into two halves – the moderate (naram Dal) led by Gopal Krishna Gokhle and extremist (gram dal ) led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

In 1915, with efforts of Bal Gangadhar Tilak & Annie Beasant , extremist were allowed to rejoin Congress in December 19015. Later in 1916, Congress reached an agreement (Lucknow Pact) with Muslim League and joint session was held at Lucknow.

Split 2:

In 1919, British came up with Montagu-Chelmsford Reform under Government of India Act 1919. Indian nationalist were not happy with concessions and in demanded effective self-government instead. Some of the veterans led by Surendra Natha Banerjea were in favor accepting government proposals and founded Indian Liberal Federation.

Split 3:

Non-Cooperation movement was withdrawn in Feb 1922 and Gandhi ji was arrested and congress continued boycott of legislative councils. As time passed, hating inactivity of Congress, a group led by C.R Das and Motilal Nehru suggested to end boycott of legislative councils in Gaya Session December, 1922.

But the proposal was defeated and CR das, Motilal Nehru resigned to form Congress-Khilafat Swaraj party. The split was put to end by Gandhi ji on 6-November 1924, when he signed joint statement with Das & Nehru that Swarajist would carry on work in legislatures on behalf of Congress Party.

Split 4:

In 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose, the elected president in both 1938 and 1939, resigned from the Congress over the selection of the working committee and formed The Forward Bloc as a new party within Congress.

Indian National Congress: Important facts

  • First President: W.C. Bonerjee
  • Word Congress adopted from U.S.A
  • English President of Indian national Congress: 5 Nos.
    • George Yule (1888) – First Foreign
    • Sir William Wedderburn (1889,1910)
    • Alfred Webb (1894)
    • Sir Henry Cotton (1904)
  • Venue 1st Session – Gokul Tejpal Sanskrit School, Bombay.
  • “Swaraj” was first used at congress platform: (1906) Calcutta.
  • First Women President: Annie Besant (1917 Calcutta session).
  • First Indian Women President – Sarojini Naidu (1925, Kanpur session)
  • Total Women President – Annie Besant , Sarojini Naidu & Nalin Sengupta.
  • First Muslim President: Badaruddin Tayabji (1887, Madras)
  • Youngest President Indian National Congress: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
  • Maximum times President:
    • Dadabhi Naoroji (1886,1893,1906),
    • Jawahar Lal Nehru (1929, 1936, 1937).
  • First village session:  Fazipur, near Jalgaon,1936).
  • Session presided over by Gandhi ji– Belgaon (1924).
  • Complete Independence demand raised for the first time: Lahore(1929).
  • First time Vande Mataram Sung: Calcutta Session 1896
  • First time National Anthem (Jana Gana Mana ): Calcutta session (1911)
  • Constitution need emphasized
    • First time at Allahabad session, 1888
    • Second time Poona Session 1885
  • All India Khadi Board: formed as result of 1923 Delhi Session
  • Khadi made compulsory: Guwahati session 1926
  • All India Youth congress: Calcutta Session 1928
  • Fundamentals Rights and Economic Policy Proposals Passed:Karachi Session 1931
  • Congress was declared illegal during 1932,1933 sessions
  • Socialism – 1936 Lucknow session.

Presidents & Sessions of Indian National Congress:

Year Session President
1885 Bombay Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee
1886 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji
1887 Madras Badruddin Tyabji
1888 Allahabad George Yule
1889 Bombay Sir William Wedderburn
1890 Calcutta Pherozeshah Mehta
1891 Nagpur P. Ananda Charlu
1892 Allahabad Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee
1893 Lahore Dadabhai Naoroji
1894 Madras Alfred Webb
1895 Poona Surendranath Banerjee
1896 Calcutta Rahimatullah M. Sayani
1897 Amraoti C. Sankaran Nair
1898 Madras Ananda Mohan Bose
1899 Lucknow Romesh Chunder Dutt
1900 Lahore N.G. Chandavarkar
1901 Calcutta Dinshaw Eduljee Wacha
1902 Ahmedabad Surendranath Banerjee
1903 Madras Lal Mohan Ghosh
1904 Bombay Sir Henry Cotton
1905 Benares Gopal Krishna Gokhale
1906 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji
1907 Surat Rash Behari Ghosh
1908 Madras Rash Behari Ghosh
1909 Lahore Madan Mohan Malaviya
1910 Allahabad Sir William Wedderburn
1911 Calcutta Bishan Narayan Dar
1913 Karachi Nawab Syed Mohammed Bahadur
1915 Bombay Satyendra Prasanna Sinha
1916 Lucknow Ambica Charan Mazumdar
1917 Calcutta Annie Besant
1918 Special Session August Bombay Syed Hasan Imam
1918 Delhi Madan Mohan Malaviya
1919 Amritsar Motilal Nehru
1920 Nagpur C. Vijayaraghavachariar
1921 Ahmedabad Hakim Ajmal Khan (Acting President for C.R. Das)
1922 Gaya C.R. Das
1922 Special Session Delhi Abul Kalam Azad
1924 Belgaum Gandhi ji
1925 Kanpur Shri B.K. Hariprasad
1926 Gauhati S. Srinivasa Iyengar
1927 Madras M.A. Ansari
1928 Calcutta Motilal Nehru
1931 Karachi Vallabbhai J. Patel
1932 Delhi Ranchod Lal Amrit Lal
1933 Calcutta Nellie Sen Gupta
1934 Bombay Rajendra Prasad
1938 Haripura Subhash Chandra Bose
1939 Tripuri Subhash Chandra Bose
1940 Ramgarh Abul Kalam Azad
1946 Meerut J.B. Kripalani
1948 Jaipur Pattabhi Sitaraimayya