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 objectives 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.
Important Facts to remember about Indian National Congress
- 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.
Indian National Congress: Sessions & Presidents
|1885||Bombay||Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee|
|1889||Bombay||Sir William Wedderburn|
|1891||Nagpur||P. Ananda Charlu|
|1892||Allahabad||Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee|
|1896||Calcutta||Rahimatullah M. Sayani|
|1897||Amraoti||C. Sankaran Nair|
|1898||Madras||Ananda Mohan Bose|
|1899||Lucknow||Romesh Chunder Dutt|
|1901||Calcutta||Dinshaw Eduljee Wacha|
|1903||Madras||Lal Mohan Ghosh|
|1904||Bombay||Sir Henry Cotton|
|1905||Benares||Gopal Krishna Gokhale|
|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|
|1918||Special Session August Bombay||Syed Hasan Imam|
|1918||Delhi||Madan Mohan Malaviya|
|1921||Ahmedabad||Hakim Ajmal Khan (Acting President for C.R. Das)|
|1922||Special Session Delhi||Abul Kalam Azad|
|1925||Kanpur||Shri B.K. Hariprasad|
|1926||Gauhati||S. Srinivasa Iyengar|
|1931||Karachi||Vallabbhai J. Patel|
|1932||Delhi||Ranchod Lal Amrit Lal|
|1933||Calcutta||Nellie Sen Gupta|
|1938||Haripura||Subhash Chandra Bose|
|1939||Tripuri||Subhash Chandra Bose|
|1940||Ramgarh||Abul Kalam Azad|
Splits in India National Congress:
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.
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.
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.
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.