Thursday, September 15, 2011

Precongress Organisation in British India (contd-1)

From the very inception the British Indian Association exhibited two different points ;
1. Naked European racism had thus definitely alienated the educated Indians,
2. Inspite of confining its attention in Bengal, the association took an all India outlook from the beginnning . Immediately after the foundation of the Association its Secretary, Debendranath Thakur addressed  the leading citizens of Madras, Bombay and Poona, calling upon them to establish either branches of the British Indian Association or independent associations in their respective regions with a view to making representations in unision on behalf of every part of British India to the British Parliament on the eve of the approaching renewal of the company's charter.
Poona was the first town to follow the lead of Calcutta. On 1 Februray, 1852, the deccan Association was founded at Poona with a view to sending a mision to England with a petition to the British Parliament listing India grievances. But the Deccan Association did not lasted long and could not send any mission or petition. Madras acted next by establishing on 26 Feb. 1852, the Madras branch of the British Indian Association. Within a few months, however, it decided to act independently of the parent body and changed its name  its name to the Madras Native Association. The split between Calcutta and Masdras associations was unfortunate since it wrecked the possiblity of joint Indian petition to Parliament. Bombay was the last to act ; in August 1852, the Bombay Association
was established with the primary purpose of petitioning the British Parliament.
The attempt of the British Indian Association to build an inter-provincial co-operation in political agitation, firts of its kind, failed. But the three presidents of the three associations  presented separate petitions to Parliament which were largely similar. But it was  severely criticised by the Anglo-indian News papers. Among the demands there were;
1. Establishment of a Legislative Council with a popular character and composed of 17 members of whom three Indian people from three presidencies would representthe members of the Council,
2. The reduction of exorbitant salaries of the higher officials and the expenditure of the money thus saved on public works,
3. the abolition of the exclousion of Indians from the higher public offices by throwing them in open competition with the Britain. etc
Most of the demands of the Nritish Indian Association were turned down.
But after continued agitation the British opened the Civil Service examination to the Indians.
Some of the distinguished leaders of the Association were radhkanta Deb, Debendranath Tagore, Prasanna Kumar Tagore, Ramgopal Ghosh, Peary Chand mitra, KishriChand mitra, and Hari Chandra Mukherjee who were the cross-section of the then Intellectuals.