Naoroji, Dadabhai


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Naoroji, Dadabhai

(dä`dəbəhī närō`jē), 1825–1917, Indian nationalist leader. The son of a Parsi priest, at 27 he became professor of mathematics at Elphinstone Institution, Bombay (now Mumbai). At 30 he left for England to start a career in business. He worked for an improvement in British policies toward India. He was particularly concerned about the economic consequences of British rule for India, and he wrote and lectured extensively on the "drain" of wealth, or unilateral transfer of resources from India to Britain, which he regarded as the principal cause of Indian poverty. His writings on this subject, especially his classic study, Poverty and Un-British Rule in India (1901), played a major role in arousing and stimulating economic nationalism in India. Active for more than 60 years in Indian social and political causes, he served three times as president of the Indian National CongressIndian National Congress,
Indian political party, founded in 1885. Its founding members proposed economic reforms and wanted a larger role in the making of British policy for India.
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 (1886, 1893, 1906). He was the first Indian to be elected a member of the British Parliament—in 1892, as a Liberal. As a member of Parliament he was instrumental in securing the appointment of a royal commission on Indian expenditure, the Welby Commission, and served on it as its sole Indian member. The younger generation of nationalist leaders, including such men as Gopal Krishna GokhaleGokhale, Gopal Krishna
, 1866–1915, Indian nationalist leader. A Brahman from Maharashtra, he was educated in India and became involved in the nationalist movement when he was quite young.
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 and Mohandas K. GandhiGandhi, Mohandas Karamchand
, 1869–1948, Indian political and spiritual leader, b. Porbandar. In South Africa

Educated in India and in London, he was admitted to the English bar in 1889 and practiced law unsuccessfully in India for two years.
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, regarded him as their mentor, and he was affectionately hailed as the Grand Old Man of India.

Bibliography

See biography by R. P. Masani (1939).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Naoroji, Dadabhai

 

Born Sept. 4, 1825, in Bombay; died there July 2, 1917. Prominent figure of the Indian national movement. Publicist and economist; one of the founders of the Indian national school of bourgeois economists. From 1885, one of the organizers and leaders of the Indian National Congress Party.

A graduate of Elphinstone College in Bombay, Naoroji was the first Indian to attain the rank of professor (1854). In 1855 he left for Great Britain, where through the Indian League he propagandized the need for reforms in India. Naoroji maintained ties with liberals and Social Democrats. He visited Great Britain on numerous occasions and lived there for many years. In 1892 he was elected to Parliament as a member of the Liberal Party. In 1904, in an address to the Amsterdam Congress of the Second International, he criticized the colonial system in India.

Naoroji’s program was one of liberal nationalism and cultural enlightenment. In his writings and speeches he criticized the colonial exploitation of India and the Indians’ lack of political rights but rejected the idea of overthrowing English colonial rule through mass action. Naoroji advanced the demand for self-rule in India within the framework of the British Empire; in his opinion, this could have been achieved gradually through the impact of propaganda by Indian national organizations on English liberal circles.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.