Sunday, October 9, 2011

The First Congress of INC

First President of Indian National Congress

Womesh Chandra Banerjee was the first President of Indian National Congress (INC). Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 by educated Indian elite. The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in December 1885. Retired British ICS officer AO Hume played a key role in the formation of INC. The formation of Indian National Congress initially had the blessings of the British Government. The government welcomed the establishment of an organisation by the western educated upper class Indians to function as a 'safety valve' for the escape of growing resentment of Indians against British rule. The birth of INC heralded the entry of new educated middle-class into politics and transformed the Indian political horizon.

The proposed Conference, of the Indian National Congress started its first session in the hall of the Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College , Bombay, on 28 Dec, 1885, Poona having been found unsuitable on account of outbreak of Cholera there. The president was W.C. Bonerjee, a leading lawyer of Calcutta.
In his presidential address Bonerjee stressed the representatives and constitutional character of the gathering . The four main aims and objects of the Congress as defined by Bonerjee ;
1. Promotion of personal intimacy and friendship amongst all the more earnest workers in the country's cause,
2. eradication of direct friendly intercourse of all possible race, creed, or provincial prejudices amongst all lovers of the country and the fuller development and consolidation  of the sentiments of national unity,
3. Recording of matured opinions of the educated classes in India on some of the more important and pressing  social questions of the day..
4. determination of the lines and methods of action to be pursued by the Indian politicians for public interests during the next 12 months.