Timeline History

Indian National Congress

Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress Party or Congress (I), abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India. Created in 1885, the Indian National Congress became the nation's leader in the Independence Movement, with over 15 million Indians involved in its organizations and over 70 million participants in its struggle against the British Empire. After Independence in 1947, it became the nation's dominant political party. In the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009), 145 INC members, the largest contingent amongst all parties, serve in the house. The party is currently the chief member of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition government supported by the Left Front.

Founded in 1885 with the object of obtaining a greater share in government for educated Indians, the Indian National Congress was initially not opposed to British rule. The Congress met once a year during the Christmas vacation. Indeed, it was a Scotsman, Allan Octavian Hume, who brought about its first meeting in Bombay, with the approval of Lord Dufferin, the then-Viceroy. Womesh Chandra Banerjee was the first President of the INC.The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Pune but due to a plague breakout there, the meeting was later shifted to Mumbai.So the first Session of INC was held from 28-31st December 1885, and was attended by 72 delegates. A few years down the line, the demands of INC became more radical in the face of constant opposition from the government, and the party became very active in the independence movement. By 1907 the party was split into two halves: the Garam Dal of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, or Extremists (literally "hot faction"), and the Naram Dal of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, or Moderates (literally "soft faction"), distinguished by their attitude towards the British.
After the First World War the party became associated with Mahatma Gandhi, who (although never even a member of the party) remained its unofficial, spiritual leader and mass icon even as younger men and women became party president. The party was in many ways an umbrella organisation, sheltering within itself radical socialists, traditionalists and even Hindu and Muslim conservatives.
In its time as the nation's leader in the freedom struggle, it produced the nation's greatest leaders. Before the Gandhi Era came leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (later leader of the Muslim League and instrumental in the creation of Pakistan), all starting with the first legendary icon of Indians: Dadabhai Naoroji, the president of the sister Indian National Association and later MP in the House of Commons, the first Indian to win a seat there.
The 1929 Lahore session = under the presidentship of Jawahar Lal Nehru holds special significance as in this session "Purna Swaraj" was declared as the goal of INC. 26th January 1930 was declared as the "Purna Swaraj Diwas". It was to commemorate this date particularly that The Indian Constitution was formerly adopted on 26th January 1950(even though it was passed on 26th November 1949.)
With the rise of Mahatma Gandhi's popularity and his Satyagraha art of revolution came Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (the nation's first Prime Minister), Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the nation's first President), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Jivatram Kripalani and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The Congress under Gandhi's influence became the first integrated mass organization in the country, bringing together millions of people by specifically working against caste differences, untouchability, poverty, and religious and ethnic boundaries. Although predominantly Hindu, it had members from virtually every religion, ethnic group, economic class and linguistic group. The Indian National Congress could claim to be the true representative of the Indian people.

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