QUESTION-Discuss the contributions of Dadabhai Naoroji to the freedom struggle.
Answer: Dadabhai Naoroji, the grand old man of India, was possibly the most prominent figure of the moderate phase of Indian National Movement. He not only made immense contributions to the development of ‘Drain of Wealth’ theory, he took the case of India to the British public opinion. Although, he wasn’t opposed to the British rule over India per say, in his ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule of India’, he criticized how the administration of India was run by the colonial government on the ground.
Some of his contributions to the freedom struggle are as follows:
- Being a member of the House of Commons, he tried to put forward the problems faced by the people of India.
- He propounded the legendary ‘Drain of Wealth’ theory along with some other astute thinkers.
- He was instrumental in the formation of ‘The London Indian Society’ in 1865 to present the Indian perspective before the British people and support those parliamentary candidates that were sympathetic to India.
- He helped in the foundation of ‘The East India Association’ in 1867 and the Indian National Congress in 1885.
- Dadabhai Naoroji in his book, “Poverty and Un- British Rule in India” made the earliest estimation of the poverty line. The poverty line proposed by him was based on the cost of subsistence or minimum basic diet.
Due to his contributions to the cause of India, such was the respect for Dadabhai Naoroji that his being the president of a session once prevented an imminent split in the Congress.