Trailblazing Indian: The First Indian Member of The British House of Commons

First Indian Member of The British House of Commons: During the days when the British ruled India, it was nearly impossible for any Indian to become a member of the British Parliament. It was in those days that the British House of Commons saw the first Indian member. He was a pioneer of the early Indian independence movement, raising the voice of the Indian people in a powerful manner. He was the first Indian to be elected as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Britain.

Dadabhai Naoroji was born on September 4, 1825. He was a Parsi intellectual from British India, who worked extensively as an educator and a social leader. He had a significant involvement in the cotton trade. He is often referred to as the ‘Grand Old Man of India.’

Naoroji’s voice resonated in the British Parliament from 1892 to 1895. He was a student at Elphinstone Institute, at a time when universities had not yet been established in India. He then became a professor of mathematics, which was the highest position in educational institutions for Indians in those days. Countries with Elections in 2024: Dates and Details From Around the Globe

The first Indian chosen for the British House of Commons was Dadabhai Naoroji, who contested elections on the ticket of the Liberal Party.

The First Indian Member of The British House of Commons

TopicDescription
BackgroundDadabhai Naoroji, a pioneer of the Indian independence movement, became the first Indian Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons. He played a significant role in raising the Indian voice in Britain and advocating for Indian interests.
Early Life and EducationBorn on September 4, 1825, Naoroji was a Parsi intellectual from British India. He was involved in the cotton trade and had a notable career in education, including serving as a professor of mathematics.
Transition to Business VenturesDespite his prominent position in education, Naoroji left his job to set up a branch office of a trading company in England. He aimed to support Indian students in England and create a positive environment for Indians in the country.
Influence on Key PersonalitiesNaoroji’s impact extended to notable figures such as Feroz Shah Mehta, Mahatma Gandhi, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, whom he assisted and guided.
Advocate for Indian InterestsNaoroji consistently highlighted the hardships faced by Indians under British rule and urged the British public to align with the Indian cause. He also proposed reforms to address the challenges faced by Indian civil service aspirants.
Voice in the British ParliamentNaoroji’s speeches in the House of Commons were influential, and he ardently presented facts and events related to India. He was a vocal advocate for Indian self-rule and justice.
Legacy and ImpactDespite passing away in 1917, Naoroji’s efforts bore fruit as conditions began to change under British rule in India, leading to significant reforms and increased Indian participation in administrative services.

Leaving a Bountiful Job for Business Ventures

In reality, Naoroji went to England to set up a branch office of a trading company. He was required to establish their offices in London and Liverpool. He left his prestigious job in education to venture into business. He did this because he believed that if he stayed in England, he could assist Indian students who went to England for higher education.

Gandhi and Jinnah’s London Pursuits

He also aimed to create a positive environment in England in favor of India and the Indians. His influence was not just limited to personalities like Feroz Shah Mehta, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, but he also provided them with assistance and guidance over time.

Raising India’s Voice in Britain

While residing in England, Naoroji consistently explained to the British public how Indians suffered under British rule in India. He advocated for the British to align with the Indians’ cause.

In those days, the most challenging aspect for Indian civil service aspirants was competing with British candidates in difficult circumstances. To alleviate this disadvantage, Naoroji proposed conducting civil service exams jointly in England and India. He spearheaded a movement for this until 1893, and also raised his voice in the House of Commons. Later, his proposal was accepted.

Resonating Voice in the British Parliament

Naoroji’s speeches in the House of Commons were always attentively heard. He dedicated tireless efforts to ensure he could present accurate facts, figures, and events. He was the first person to speak of Indian self-rule at the Congress’ Kolkata session in 1906. He bluntly stated that they were not pleading, but demanding justice.

Unwavering Struggle

On August 20, 1917, Naoroji passed away. However, his struggle did not go in vain. Slowly, conditions began to change under British rule in India. Several reforms were implemented, and more and more Indians began participating in administrative services. The path for responsible governance in British India changed with time.