The Indian National Congress (INC) – Founding Members

The Indian National Congress Party or the INC is the oldest political party in India and it was founded by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. Allan Hume was an ornithologist, botanist and author of some note and he was the administrator of the city of Etawah located along the banks of the Yamuna River in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

After witnessing the Indian Revolution of 1858 and its aftermath, the revolution was an attempt to wrest control of India away from the British East India Company which administered territories in the subcontinent on behalf of the crown and had a monopoly over trade and commerce, he came to the conclusion that the revolution was a result of mis-governance or poor governance and decided that the people should have some say in how they were being governed and how the wealth of the country was managed or distributed and he decided that India should have a political party of its own. He is regarded as a political reformist with liberal views.

His other two colleagues, Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha, were Parsis (people of Persian origin) from Mumbai. The former was a trader by profession and a Liberal Party member of the British House of Commons. He was also an educator, a social leader and he was the first Asian MP to serve in the UK parliament. The latter, Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha, was a career politician who was active in the areas of education, social reform and commerce.

The INC was formed as a political party that aspired to gain more autonomy, in terms of self governance for India and the party later went on to spearhead the Indian Independence Movement, which started in South Africa, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi was a civil rights activist in South Africa and he spent almost 21 years there. It was in South Africa that Gandhi formulated his views and doctrines, especially with regards to civil liberties, social reforms and self-governance. He initially went to South Africa to take on a case (the Abdullah case), Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer by profession, and ended up spending 21 years there. Upon his return to India he joined the Indian National Congress and started the non-violent movement towards independence.

From its rather humble beginnings the Indian National Congress has grown to be largest political party in India and its policies have changed with the passage of time. The party is currently headed by Sonia Gandhi.
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