India pays homage to ‘the Grand Old Man’


On the 194th birth anniversary of Dadabhai Naoroji, popularly known as the Grand Old Man of India, the country pays homage to the leader who played a great role in the national movement in India.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, today paid tribute to the leader. In his tweet, he described Naoroji as an ardent patriot, economic thinker and among the greatest socio-political reformers of India.

Dadabhai Naoroji was born to a poor Parsi family in Bombay, Maharashtra on September 4, 1825. When Dadabhai Naoroji was just four years, his father Naoroji Palanji Dordi died and all the responsibilities fell on his mother Maneckbai. His mother never complained and carried out her responsibilities with great courage. Naoroji’s marriage was fixed at the very young age of 11 to Gulbai.

Dadabhai Naoroji had a wonderful academic career at the Elphinstone Institution.
When he was just 25 he became the assistant professor at Elphinstone Institution. After four years he was chosen as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the same institution. He was called the “The Promise of India” by Professor Orlebar. On 1st August 1851, he established the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha to renovate the Zoroastrian religion.

In his work Poverty and UnBritish rule in India Dadabhai condemned British policies and explained how India was losing all its wealth and possessions. Naoroji set off for England on June 27, 1855, to be a part of the production firm of the mercantile Cama family. Naoroji tried to inform and teach the British public about their tasks and duties. He tried to illuminate the British citizens about the torture and cruelty of the British Raj.

To fight for the rights of Indians, he formed the East India Association. Naoroji helped in establishing the Indian National Congress and became its President thrice. In 1883 he was re-elected to the Bombay Municipal Council. An example of his modesty was that he refused the title of “Sir” given to Dadabhai by the British.

In 1916 he returned to England but fell sick. He started suffering from bronchitis. He was looked after by his granddaughters Mrs Nargis and Gosi Captain. He returned to India in October. Dr Mehrbanoo took charge of his health. Dadabhai Naoroji left for his heavenly abode on June 30, 1917.