Chapter 9: ERA OF CONGRESS


Pre - Congress Era


The congress was born as a culmination of a process started in 1860 and 1870s and reached pinnacle in the 1880s. The youth had started entering into radical nationalist politics and wanted formation of newer organizations that had replaced older ones.


Surendranath banerjee and Anand Mohan Bose founded on these lines the Indian Association and were organizing All India National Congress and were planning a second one. Due to this Surendranath banerjee couldn’t attend the founding session of the congress in Mumbai in 1885.


Several agitation s in the preceding years had encouraged Indians viz. cotton import duties protest, afghan was, Illbert bill controversy [ Indian judges could try Europeans], vernacular press act of Lord Lytton, arms act. These didn’t achieve results as they weren’t coordinated on an All India level. 


Creation of the Congress


A. O. Hume was instrumental in establishing it. WC Banerjee was the first president. The first meeting took place in Bombay shifted from pune due to outbreak of plague.


Hume was chosen as he was of high ideals. The leaders cooperated with Hume as they didn’t want to arouse official hostility at this period. They felt that the colonial state wouldn’t suppress an organization if its founder was a British.

The other opinion was that Hume had hoped to create the congress as a safety valve for public discontent against the British but this theory was rejected by Bipan Chandra.


Objectives of the congress: 


1.      The early leaders of the congress wanted to build a secular nation. And lay foundation of a secular and democratic national movement.


2.      Second objective was to create a common political program or platform around which political workers could gather and conduct their political activities, educating and mobilizing people around all India basis.


3.      Internalization and indigenization of political democracy.


4.      To develop and propagate anti colonial nationalist ideology





Q.Consider the following statements :
1. The first woman President of the Indian National Congress was Sarojini Naidu.
2. The first Muslim President of the Indian National Congress was Badruddin Tyabji
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2015)


  • 1 only


  • 2 only


  • Both 1 and 2


  • Neither 1 nor 2



Ans . B


  1. First woman President of INC was Annie Besant.

  2. First male President was W.C. Banerjee. First Muslim male President was Badruddin Tyabji.

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