Dadabhai Naoroji - Social Reformers, Career and Family

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Dadabhai Naoroji's Personal Details

Known as the Grand Old Man of India, Dadabhai Naoroji was an educator, social reformer and an important political leader

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 4, 1825
Died onJune 30, 1917
NationalityIndian
FamousHumanitarian, Leaders, Political Leaders, Educators, Social Reformers
SpousesGulbaai
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path)
  • Rast Goftar
  • Naoroji & Co
Birth PlaceBombay, British India
ReligionZoroastrianism
GenderMale
FatherNaoroji Palanji Dordi
MotherManeckbai
Sun SignVirgo
Born inBombay, British India
Died at Age91

// Famous Social Reformers

Dadabhai Naoroji's photo

Who is Dadabhai Naoroji?

The first ever Asian to be a British Member of Parliament, Dadabhai Naoroji was a pioneer in many fields. He was an intellectual and an educator; he was the first Indian to become a professor at the Elphinstone Institute, Bombay, where he taught mathematics and natural philosophy. He had a deep love for mathematics and along with his love for the subject he also harbored several other interests. He was born into a poor Parsi family and struggled a lot during his childhood as his widowed mother single-handed raised him. As a young man he traveled to London to become a partner in Cama & Co, the first Indian company to be established in Britain. However, he was fed up with the unethical practices adopted in the company and resigned. Later on he went on to establish his own cotton trading company and became actively involved in politics. He felt that the British were exploiting India and set up the Gyan Prasarak Mandali to educate the adult men folk. He wrote many articles and gave speeches on the plight of India and played an important role in the formation of the Indian National Congress.

// Famous Political Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

He was born in Bombay in 1825 into a poor Parsi family. The family fell upon really difficult times when his father died when Dadabhai was just four years old.

His mother Maneckbai single-handedly raised her family and did a very admirable job at it. She herself was illiterate but wanted to give her son a quality education. She played a very important role in making Dadabhai the person he grew up to be.

His marriage was arranged to Gulbaai when he was 11 years old as per the custom in India during those times.

He received his primary education from the Native Education Society School after which he went to the Elphinstone Institute where he studied literature of the world.

He was chosen for Clare’s scholarship when he was 15 years old and was considered a scholar at this young age.

Career

When he was just 25, he became an Assistant Professor at the Elphinstone Institute.

He hailed from an Athornan (priestly family) and founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha on 1st August 1851 in an attempt to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its past glory. This society still operates in Bombay (now Mumbai).

He founded a fortnightly publication, the ‘Rast Goftar’, meaning the ‘truth teller’ in 1853 to clarify the Zoroastrian concepts to the common man.

In 1855 he was appointed the professor of Mathematics and Philosophy at the Elphinstone Institute thus becoming the first Indian professor at the college which only had English professors so far. He also served as the Treasurer of the Student Literary and Scientific society.

He left for London in June 1855 to become a partner in Cama & Co., which was the first Indian company to be established in Britain. Though he worked diligently there, he was disillusioned by the company’s unethical practices and resigned.

In 1859 he established his own company, Naoroji & Co., a cotton trading firm.

Starting from the 1860s, he actively began working for the upliftment of Indians. He was very vocal against the colonial rule of the British in India.

He presented the “Drain Theory” to the British in which he stated how the British had exploited India, systematically depleting her wealth and resources while making the country poorer.

He became involved with politics and helped to establish the East India Association in 1867. This association would serve as one of the predecessor organizations of the Indian National Congress.

He was patronised by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda and started his public life as the Dewan (Minister) to the Maharaja in 1874. He also served as a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai from 1885 to 1888.

He was elected the president of the Indian National Congress in 1886.

He moved to London in the late 1880s and was elected for the Liberal Party in Finsbury Central at the 1892 general election - becoming the first British Indian MP.

He spent his later years writing articles and giving speeches on the exploitation of India by the British, thus setting the foundation for the Indian Nationalist Movement.

Major Works

Known as the Grand Old Man of India, Dadabhai Naoroji was an intellectual, educator and political figure who worked to promote the Zoroastrian religion and the Indian culture. He spearheaded India’s freedom struggle by giving speeches and writing articles on the exploitation of India by the British.

Personal Life & Legacy

When he was 11 years old, his mother arranged his marriage with Gulbaai, a seven year old girl. The couple went on to have three children—one son and two daughters.

This freedom fighter, social reformer and educator had a long and productive life, spanning nine long decades. He died in 1917 at the age of 91.

The Dadabhai Naoroji Road is named in his honour.

// Famous Humanitarian

Dadabhai Naoroji biography timelines

  • // 4th Sep 1825
    He was born in Bombay in 1825 into a poor Parsi family. The family fell upon really difficult times when his father died when Dadabhai was just four years old.
  • // 1851
    He hailed from an Athornan (priestly family) and founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha on 1st August 1851 in an attempt to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its past glory. This society still operates in Bombay (now Mumbai).
  • // 1853
    He founded a fortnightly publication, the ‘Rast Goftar’, meaning the ‘truth teller’ in 1853 to clarify the Zoroastrian concepts to the common man.
  • // 1855
    In 1855 he was appointed the professor of Mathematics and Philosophy at the Elphinstone Institute thus becoming the first Indian professor at the college which only had English professors so far. He also served as the Treasurer of the Student Literary and Scientific society.
  • // Jun 1855
    He left for London in June 1855 to become a partner in Cama & Co., which was the first Indian company to be established in Britain. Though he worked diligently there, he was disillusioned by the company’s unethical practices and resigned.
  • // 1859
    In 1859 he established his own company, Naoroji & Co., a cotton trading firm.
  • // 1867
    He became involved with politics and helped to establish the East India Association in 1867. This association would serve as one of the predecessor organizations of the Indian National Congress.
  • // 1874
    He was patronised by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda and started his public life as the Dewan (Minister) to the Maharaja in 1874. He also served as a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai from 1885 to 1888.
  • // 1886
    He was elected the president of the Indian National Congress in 1886.
  • // 1892
    He moved to London in the late 1880s and was elected for the Liberal Party in Finsbury Central at the 1892 general election - becoming the first British Indian MP.
  • // 30th Jun 1917
    This freedom fighter, social reformer and educator had a long and productive life, spanning nine long decades. He died in 1917 at the age of 91.

// Famous Educators

Dadabhai Naoroji's FAQ

  • What is Dadabhai Naoroji birthday?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was born at 1825-09-04

  • When was Dadabhai Naoroji died?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was died at 1917-06-30

  • Where was Dadabhai Naoroji died?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was died in Bombay (Mumbai)

  • Which age was Dadabhai Naoroji died?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was died at age 91

  • Where is Dadabhai Naoroji's birth place?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was born in Bombay, British India

  • What is Dadabhai Naoroji nationalities?

    Dadabhai Naoroji's nationalities is Indian

  • Who is Dadabhai Naoroji spouses?

    Dadabhai Naoroji's spouses is Gulbaai

  • Which company or organization was founded by Dadabhai Naoroji?

    Dadabhai Naoroji was the founder/co-founder of Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path), Rast Goftar, Naoroji & Co

  • What is Dadabhai Naoroji's religion?

    Dadabhai Naoroji's religion is Zoroastrianism

  • Who is Dadabhai Naoroji's father?

    Dadabhai Naoroji's father is Naoroji Palanji Dordi

  • Who is Dadabhai Naoroji's mother?

    Dadabhai Naoroji's mother is Maneckbai

  • What is Dadabhai Naoroji's sun sign?

    Dadabhai Naoroji is Virgo