Context: September 4, 2019 was the 194th birth anniversary of Dadabhai Naoroji.

About Dadabhai Naroji:

  • He was born in 1825 at Navsari, in present-day Gujarat.
  • He was popularly called as the Grand Old man of India and was a moderate.
  • He was one of earliest congress members and served as the first Indian member of British Parliament.
  • He was concerned about recruitment to the Indian Civil Services and did his first agitation in 1859 for the same.
  • In 1865 and 1866, Naoroji helped found the London Indian Society and the East India Association
    • The two organisations sought to bring nationalist Indians and sympathetic Britons on one platform.
  • In 1885, Naoroji became a vice-president of the Bombay Presidency Association, got nominated to the Bombay legislative council by Governor Lord Reay, and eventually helped form the Indian National Congress.
  • He went on to become Congress president thrice, in 1886, 1893, and 1906.
  • In 1895, he became a member of the royal commission on Indian expenditure.
  • Dadabhai Naoroji was among the key proponents of the ‘Drain Theory’, disseminating it in his 1901 book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’.
    • As per this theory Britain was draining away India’s wealth and resources through its exploitative economic and military policies coupled with restraining Indians to some limited vocations.
    • Britain used to charge high taxes, encourage one way free trade, levy high interest on public debt taken by Indian Government from Britain, Pay salaries and pensions to its officers from Indian exchequer etc.. which lead to a substantial drain of Indian resources to Britain.