Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji was born in Bombay, India, in 1825. The son of a Parsee Priest, he was educated at Elphinstone Institute School and later became a teacher.

In 1855 he was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Naoroji became involved in politics and in 1867 helped establish the East India Association. In 1874 became Prime Minister to the Dewan of Baroda and was also a member of the Legislative Council of Bombay (1885-88). In 1886 Naoroji was elected as President of the Indian National Congress.

Naoroji moved to England and joined the Liberal Party and in July, 1892, was successfully elected to Parliament where he represented Finsbury. He therefore became the first Asian to be elected to the House of Commons. Although he promised that his first duty would be to his constituents, he made no secret of the fact that he would also be representing 250 million of his fellow subjects in India.

Over the next few years Naoroji campaigned against the the financial drain on India caused by British taxation and trade regulations. On the left-wing of the party, Naoroji also advocated Irish Home Rule and extensive social reforms.

Naoroji was defeated in the 1895 General Election and in his later years concentrated on writing books such as Poverty and Un-British Rule in India (1901) and The Rights of Labour (1906).

Dadabhai Naoroji died on 2nd July, 1917.