Congress Foundation Day
The Indian National Congress (INC) is India's largest opposition party and was founded on December 28, 1885. The party celebrated its 138th foundation day on December 28, 2021, with newly elected party president Mallikarjun Kharge addressing party workers at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in New Delhi. The INC was founded by English bureaucrat Allan Octavian Hume, also known as AO Hume, and a group of 72 social reformers, journalists, and lawyers. The party's original aim was not to demand independence from colonial rule, but rather to influence the policies of the British government in favour of Indians.
History of the Congress
The INC was founded on December 28, 1885, with the goal of providing a "safety valve" for Indians to air their grievances and frustrations with colonial rule. However, the party faced criticism from both the British, who saw the party's efforts to change the existing systems as a threat to their interests, and from some Indians, who felt that the party was not achieving significant results. Hume left India at the end of the 19th century, and the party initially consisted largely of educated, upper-class individuals who had studied abroad.
Over time, the INC became more diverse as it began establishing provincial organizations. At its Eleventh Session in 1895, there was an increase in the number of delegates from 1,163 the previous year to 1,584. Members of the party frequently protested issues of British colonialism, such as the Bengal famine and the drain of wealth from India. However, these protests were initially limited to prayers and petitions, including writing letters to the authorities.
As the British rule continued, differences began to emerge within the party regarding the approach to achieving independence. Some members, including Mahatma Gandhi, believed in using non-violent methods such as civil disobedience to resist colonial rule. Other members, including Jawaharlal Nehru, favoured a more militant approach. Despite these differences, the party united in its goal of achieving independence for India.
Role in India's Independence Movement
The INC played a significant role in India's independence movement, with many of its members actively participating in the struggle for independence. Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent resistance, known as satyagraha, was instrumental in the struggle for independence. The party also launched the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, which called for Indians to boycott British goods and institutions as a form of non-violent resistance.
The party also played a key role in the negotiations for independence with the British government. The INC was represented at the Round Table Conferences in London in the 1930s, which were held to discuss the future of India. The party's efforts ultimately led to the withdrawal of British rule in 1947 and the creation of the independent nation of India.
Splits and Disagreements
- The INC has faced several splits and disagreements throughout its history. The most significant of these was the split in 1969, when a group of Congress leaders formed the Congress (Organisation) or Congress (O) after expressing dissatisfaction with the leadership of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
- The party was reunited in 1978, but the disagreement over leadership and ideology has continued to be a source of tension within the party.
- In recent years, the INC has faced challenges in the form of internal conflicts and electoral defeats. Despite these challenges, the party remains a significant political force in India and continues to play a key role in the country's political landscape.
The Indian National Congress has played a significant role in India's independence movement and continues to be a major political force in the country.
Written by princy