Published: 30th June 2021
What the FAQ: Who is Dadabhai Naoroji and why is he called the Grand Old Man of India?
On Dadabhai Naoroji's 104th death anniversary, we take a look at the life of the Grand Old Man of the country
June 30, 2021, marks the 104th death anniversary of Dadabhai Naoroji, who is popularly known as the 'Grand Old Man of India'. He is also called the 'unofficial ambassador of India' and has played a huge role in India gaining independence from the British. We explain the reason why he is called the Grand Old Man of India.
Who was Dadabhai Naoroji?
Naoroji was an Indian political leader, merchant, scholar, writer and more importantly, a founding member of the Indian National Congress. He was also a Liberal Party Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895. He was also the first Asian to be a British MP other than the Anglo-Indian MP David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre.
What is he well known for?
Apart from being an academic, scholar and activist, his work mostly concentrated on the drain of wealth from India to Britain during the colonial period. He also authored a book titled 'Poverty' which had estimated that India's revenue worth 200-300 million pounds was drained to Britain.
Why is he called the Grand Old Man of India?
He is regarded as one of the few who gave birth to the modern Independence movement in India. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, once wrote to him saying, "The Indians look up to you as children to the father. Such is really the feeling here." It is only sad that he did not live up to see India gain independence, 30 years after his demise.