Monday, September 26, 2011

Political Propaganda in England

The agitation for the introduction of reforms in Indian administration was not confined only in India or to the Indians. From very early times the work in India was supplemented by work in England, both by the Indians and Englishmen. The first Indian to realize the importance of such work was Raja Rammohan Roy. The memorandum which he admitted to the Parliamentary Committee on Indian affairs was the first authentic statement of Indian views placed before the British authorities by an eminent Indian. It is generally agreed that this and other activities of  Raja Rammohan Roy during his visit to England (1830-33) produced some good effect and influenced the Charter Act of 1833.
Dwarakanath Tagore, was the next prominent Indian political leader to visit England.The honour and cordiality with which he was received in Britain offers a striking and refreshing contrast to the general attitude of the British towards the Indians in later days. During his first visit to Britain in 1842, he was given a public reception by the notabilities of England, and even her majesty Queen Victoria invited him to lunch and dinner.       
In a public address in Edinburgh it was expressed that in India " the rod of oppression may be for ever broken and that the yoke of an unwilling subjection may be everywhere exchanged for a voluntary allegiance. Both Rammohan and Dwarakanath felt the need of carrying on propaganda in England on behalf of India, and made permanent arrangements for this work, as mentioned above.Of the many Englishmen there were Fawcett, John Bright, Allan Octavian Hume, William Wedderburn who were members of the Indian Civil Service. 
Special reference should also be made to the grand old Man, Dadabhoy Naoroji. He was the most distinguished member of the small band of Indians, who made England their centre of activity for the political advancement of India by awakening the consciousness of the British people to their sense of duty towards India and appealing to their democratic instincts and liberal principles. 
Dadabhoy Naoroji in collaboration with W.C.Bonerjee, started a Society in London in order to enable the Indians and Englishmen to meet together and discuss various matters concerning Indian administration. It was called the London Indian Society. and its inaugural meeting was held at the London residence of Jnanendramohan Tagore in 1865. Dadabhoy Naoroji was the president and W.C. Banerjee was the secretary of the Society.This society was amalgamated within a year with East India Association.which was inaugurated on 1866 in collaboration with a committee of retired English Officials.It soon became recognized as an Association and branches of it were formed in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.By the year 1871 the number 0f members rose to four figures. Another Association in London was founded in 1867 by Mary Carpenter, the famous biographer of Raja Ram Mohan Roy who visited India four times during sixties and seventies of 19th Century . This National Indian Association did not acquire much importance.
Ananda Mohan Bose a Cambridge student established , Indian Society in London in 1872.