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The Genesis of the Indian National Congress: A.O. Hume’s Influential Role | Nana Ronger Itihas

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Introduction:

The Indian National Congress (INC) holds a significant place in India’s political history as a prominent political organization that aimed to unite and represent the grievances of the educated Indian population to the British government. This article explores the genesis of the INC, emphasizing the instrumental role played by Allan Octavian Hume, a retired British civil servant. By understanding the historical context and Hume’s visionary contributions, we gain insights into the formation and impact of the INC.

Background of Indian Political Landscape:

Before the formation of the INC, India witnessed various political activities, including regional associations and public affairs. However, there was a growing alienation between the British rulers and Indians, highlighting the need for a unified national movement. This section provides a comprehensive background to comprehend the emergence of the INC.

A.O. Hume: The Visionary:

Allan Octavian Hume’s involvement was crucial in shaping the genesis of the INC. This section delves into Hume’s background and his concerns regarding the alienation and lack of communication between the British rulers and Indians. Influenced by liberal ideas and Indian leaders, Hume envisioned a national movement to bridge this gap and prevent a possible revolt against British rule.

Formation of the Indian National Congress:

Hume’s ambition led him to launch a scheme to establish an all-India political organization through constitutional means. This section explores Hume’s invitations to Indian leaders, the circulation of confidential circulars, and his correspondence with Lord Dufferin, the then-viceroy of India. Lord Dufferin cautiously supported Hume’s initiative, recognizing its potential as a safety valve for discontented Indians and a source of reliable information for the British government.

Objectives and Resolutions:

The first session of the INC, held in Bombay, marked a significant milestone in its formation. This section outlines the aims and objectives outlined during the inaugural session, which aimed to address various issues, such as administrative reforms, civil service examinations, local self-government, education, trade, taxation, and more. Resolutions passed during the session reflected the INC’s commitment to advocating for Indian interests through constitutional means.

Organizational Structure of the INC:

Understanding the organizational structure of the INC sheds light on its functioning and effectiveness. This section explores the election of office bearers, with Hume assuming the role of the general secretary. The decision to hold annual sessions in different cities aimed to foster regional representation and broaden the INC’s reach across India.

Contributions and Legacy of A.O. Hume:

Hume’s contributions extended beyond the formation of the INC. This section highlights his continued involvement as the general secretary and the establishment of the British Committee of the INC in London. Hume’s efforts solidified his recognition as the chief architect and founder of the INC, laying the foundation for India’s future political movements and struggles for independence.

Conclusion:

A.O. Hume’s role in the genesis of the INC was pivotal in shaping India’s political landscape. His visionary approach, concerns for effective representation, and efforts to bridge the gap between the British rulers and Indians had a lasting impact. The INC’s formation marked a significant step in India’s journey towards self-governance and laid the groundwork for future political developments. Understanding Hume’s influential role provides valuable insights into the evolution of Indian nationalism and the struggles faced by the Indian people.


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  1. What is the Indian National Congress (INC)?

Ans:- The Indian National Congress (INC) is a prominent political organization formed in 1885 that aimed to unify the diverse political activities of educated Indians and voice their grievances to the British government.

  1. Who was A.O. Hume?

Ans:- Allan Octavian Hume was a retired British civil servant who played a crucial role in the genesis of the Indian National Congress. He served in India from 1846 to 1882 and was deeply concerned about the growing alienation between the British rulers and the Indian subjects.

  1. What was the motivation behind A.O. Hume’s involvement in the INC?

Ans:- Hume was motivated by the need to bridge the gap between the British rulers and Indians and prevent a possible revolt against British rule. He believed in the importance of a national movement and saw the INC as a means to achieve this.

  1. What were the pre-INC political activities in India?

Ans:- Before the formation of the INC, there were various regional political associations and public affairs initiatives by Indian leaders advocating for greater participation in administration and legislation.

  1. What was the role of A.O. Hume in the formation of the INC?

Ans:- Hume initiated the formation of the INC by launching a scheme and inviting Indian leaders to join. He also secured support from Lord Dufferin, the then viceroy of India, who recognized the need for such an organization.

  1. Where was the first session of the INC held?

Ans:- The first session of the INC was held in Bombay (now Mumbai) from December 28 to 31, 1885.

  1. What were the objectives outlined during the inaugural session of the INC?

Ans:- The objectives included addressing administrative reforms, civil service examinations, local self-government, education, trade, taxation, and other issues of importance to the Indian population.

  1. What resolutions were passed during the first session of the INC?

Ans:- The session passed resolutions on various issues, reflecting the INC’s commitment to advocate for Indian interests through constitutional means.

  1. What was the organizational structure of the INC?

Ans:- The INC had elected office bearers, with A.O. Hume serving as the general secretary. It also had an executive committee and held annual sessions in different cities to foster regional representation.

  1. What were A.O. Hume’s contributions beyond the formation of the INC?

Ans:- Hume continued to serve as the general secretary of the INC for several years. He also established the British Committee of the INC in London in 1889 to lobby for India’s cause in Britain.

  1. How is A.O. Hume recognized in relation to the INC?

Ans:- A.O. Hume is widely regarded as the chief architect and founder of the INC and is often referred to as “the father of Indian National Congress.”

  1. What was the significance of the INC in shaping India’s political landscape?

Ans:- The INC played a pivotal role in mobilizing Indian political aspirations, fostering a sense of national identity, and laying the foundation for future political movements and struggles for independence.

  1. Did the INC play a role in India’s struggle for independence?

Ans:- Yes, the INC played a significant role in India’s struggle for independence. It provided a platform for Indian leaders to voice their grievances, strategize, and mobilize the masses against British rule.

  1. Were there any limitations or criticisms of the INC during its early years?

Ans:- Yes, there were criticisms of the INC during its early years. Some argued that it predominantly represented the interests of the educated elite and that it did not adequately address the concerns of marginalized sections of society.

  1. How did the INC evolve over time?

Ans:- The INC evolved from being a moderate political organization initially to becoming a broader-based platform advocating for self-rule and full independence for India.

  1. Did the INC face challenges from within and outside the organization?

Ans:- Yes, the INC faced challenges from within, including ideological differences and disagreements on strategies. It also faced opposition and suppression from the British government.

  1. How did the INC contribute to the growth of Indian nationalism?

Ans:- The INC played a crucial role in fostering a sense of Indian nationalism by uniting Indians from various regions, religions, castes, and professions under a common platform and advocating for their collective interests.

  1. How did the formation of the INC impact the British government’s perception of Indian political aspirations?

Ans:- The formation of the INC signaled a growing assertiveness among Indians and their desire for greater political representation. It forced the British government to recognize and engage with Indian political aspirations more seriously.

  1. What role did A.O. Hume play in the INC after its formation?

Ans:- A.O. Hume continued to serve as the general secretary of the INC for several years, contributing to its growth and development. His involvement remained significant even beyond the initial formation.

  1. How did the establishment of the British Committee of the INC contribute to India’s cause?

Ans:- The British Committee of the INC, established by A.O. Hume, aimed to lobby for India’s cause in Britain. It sought to gain support and influence policymakers in Britain to address Indian grievances and aspirations.

  1. Did A.O. Hume receive recognition for his contributions to the INC?

Ans:- Yes, A.O. Hume is widely recognized as the chief architect and founder of the INC due to his instrumental role in initiating, organizing, and facilitating its formation.

  1. How did the INC pave the way for other political movements in India?

Ans:- The INC laid the groundwork for future political movements by providing a model for organizing and mobilizing the Indian population and by addressing a wide range of socio-political issues.

  1. What was the impact of the INC’s formation on India’s political discourse?

Ans:- The formation of the INC broadened the scope of political discourse in India, encouraging discussions on issues such as self-governance, independence, and the role of Indians in shaping their own destiny.

  1. Did the INC achieve immediate success in its initial objectives?

Ans:- The INC’s initial objectives were primarily aimed at addressing Indian grievances through constitutional means. While immediate success was limited, the INC played a significant role in raising awareness and advocating for Indian interests.

  1. How did the INC contribute to the growth of Indian democracy?

Ans:- The INC’s advocacy for democratic principles and representative governance contributed to the growth of Indian democracy. It laid the foundation for democratic ideals that were later enshrined in India’s constitution.

  1. How did the INC address the concerns of different sections of Indian society?

Ans:- The INC aimed to address the concerns of different sections of Indian society by providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard and advocating for policies that would benefit the Indian population as a whole.

  1. Did the INC’s formation lead to an increase in political awareness among Indians?

Ans:- Yes, the INC’s formation played a significant role in increasing political awareness among Indians. It encouraged Indians to participate actively in political discussions, debates, and the overall struggle for independence.

  1. Were there any international influences on the formation of the INC?

Ans:- Yes, A.O. Hume was influenced by liberal ideas from his fellow Englishmen, who advocated for greater participation of Indians in administration and legislation. He also consulted with prominent Indian leaders who were active in regional political associations.

  1. How did the formation of the INC contribute to the growth of Indian nationalism?

Ans:- The formation of the INC provided a platform for Indians to come together, voice their grievances, and work towards a common goal of self-rule. This collective effort fostered a sense of nationalism and unity among Indians.

  1. How did the genesis of the INC shape the course of India’s struggle for independence?

Ans:- The genesis of the INC laid the foundation for India’s struggle for independence by providing a structured political platform, mobilizing Indian aspirations, and influencing subsequent movements and leaders in the fight against British colonial rule.

 

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