dadabhai naoroji death anniversaryDadabhai Naoroji was born on 4 September 1825 in Bombay (now Mumbai) into a poor Parsi family. One of the first leaders to lay the foundation of the Indian freedom struggle, he was one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress. He died on June 30, 1917.
On his 105th death anniversary, here are some interesting facts about him:
- Born in 1825, Naoroji was a Parsi, a member of the small Parsi community of India, and was educated at Elphinstone Institute School.
- At the age of 28, he became the first Indian to be appointed as a full professor teaching mathematics and physics at Elphinstone College, a British-administered college, Bombay.
- At the age of eleven, he married Gulbai.
- At a time when most of the women in India lacked any kind of education, she established some of the first schools for girls in Bombay.
- In 1855, he became a partner in Cama & Company and opened his branch in Liverpool. It became the first Indian company to be established in Britain.
- By the late 1860s, Naoroji became deeply concerned about India’s deteriorating poverty under British rule and highlighted the “drain of wealth” in his book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.
- Naoroji entered politics after criticizing British colonialism. With the help of Allan Octavian Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Vacha, he founded the Indian National Congress in 1885.
- He became the first British Indian to become a Member of Parliament of the Liberal Party, elected in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895. He was also the first Asian British parliamentarian.
- During the swearing-in ceremony in the British Parliament, Naoroji refused to take the oath on the Bible because he was a Parsi. He was allowed to take an oath on his own copy of the Khordeh Avesta.
- On June 30, 1917, Naoroji died at the age of 92 at his home in Versova, Mumbai.