DMPQ- . Throw light on important political associations before Indian national congress.

The Indian National Congress was not the first political organisation in India. However, most of the political associations in the early half of the nineteenth century were dominated by wealthy and aristocratic elements. They were local or regional in character. Through long petitions to the British Parliament most of them demanded:

  • Administrative reforms,
  • Association of Indians with the administration, and
  • Spread of education.

The political associations of the second half of the nineteenth century came to be increasingly dominated by the educated middle class—the lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, etc.,—and they had a wider perspective and a larger agenda.

The Bangabhasha Prakasika Sabha was formed in 1836 by associates of Raja Rammohan Roy.

The Zamindari Association, more popularly known as the ‘Landholders’ Society’, was founded to safeguard the interests of the landlords. Although limited in its objectives, the Landholders’ Society marked the beginning of an organised political activity and use of methods of constitutional agitation for the redressal of grievances.

The Bengal British India Society was founded in 1843 with the object of “the collection and dissemination of information relating to the actual condition of the people of British India and to employ such other means of peaceful and lawful character as may appear calculated to secure the welfare, extend the just rights and advance the interests of all classes of our fellow subjects”.

The East India Association was organised by Dadabhai Naoroji in 1866 in London to discuss the Indian question and influence public men in England to promote Indian welfare. Later, branches of the association were started in prominent Indian cities.

The Indian League was started in 1875 by Sisir Kumar Ghosh with the object of “stimulating the sense of nationalism amongst the people” and of encouraging political education.

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