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Day 36 – Q 2.Discuss the contribution of Dadabhai Naoroji in Indian national movement.

2. Discuss the contribution of Dadabhai Naoroji in Indian national movement. 

भारतीय राष्ट्रीय आंदोलन में दादाभाई नौरोजी के योगदान पर चर्चा करें।


Popularly known as the “Grand Old Man of India”, Dadabhai Naoroji was born Bombay on 4 September 1825 in a Parsi family with a prominent lineage of Zoroastrian priests. The young Naoroji was therefore brought up to take on his father’s profession of conducting rites and rituals for the Parsi community. However, destiny ordained otherwise.

Dadabhai naoroji was parsi Indian political and social leader. He was the first Asian to be a member of British parliament. Naoroji was a prominent figure and play a significant role in Indian national movement.

  • In 1866, Dadabhai Naoroji founded in London the East Indian Association for propagating the cause of India. Amongst the British and Indian nationals who joined the association was Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee who later became the first President of the INC.
  • He was the founder of, Indian national congress, along with A.O. hume and dinshaw wacha.
  • His unearthing of colonial economic exploitation is the most important contribution to Indian national movement.
  • In his book, poverty and unbritish rule in India, he exposes the economic exploitation of India under British rule. He present, drain of wealth theory, which refers to unilateral transfer of wealth from India to Britain resulting in widespread poverty and severe famines.
  • The use of word, unbritish, in title of book refers to exploitive nature of British rule in India which was not the case in Britain, where it was progressive.
  • Naoroji was an economic critic and his work on economic exploitation gave a boost to Indian national movement and unmasked the real face of imperial rule.
  • He proposed Indianisation of the bureaucracy, separation of powers of the executive and judiciary and greater representation of Indians in the House of Commons.
  • Some historians use the term, economic colonialism, for the first phase of Indian national movement (1885-1905) on the basis on revelations by dadabhai naoroji.
  • Naoroji repeated what he had been propagating in England: ‘the all-encompassing issue of Indian poverty is due the unnatural and suicidal system of administration.’
  • During his stay in Britain in the 1860s, Naoroji’s most significant contribution was his work on Indian poverty and the drain of wealth India suffered under British imperialism.
  • Around one-fourth of India’s revenues went out of the country and added to the resources of England.
  • By the beginning of the twentieth century, Naoroji was openly calling for self-government which according to him was the only option to stop the drain of wealth through the creation of a civil service dominated by Indians.


He thrice served as the President of Indian National Congress (1886, 1893 and 1906) besides representing India at International Congress of Social Democrats at Amsterdam in 1905. He permanently returned to India from Britain in 1908 at the ripe age of 83. ‘Grand Old Man of India’ passed away in Bombay on June 30, 1917 leaving a weighty bequest of experience and achievements behind.

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