Popularly known as the “Grand Old Man of India”, DadabhaiNaoroji was born in Bombay on 4September 1825 in a Parsi family with a prominent lineage of Zoroastrian priests. The youngNaoroji was therefore brought up to take on his father’s profession of conducting rites andrituals for the Parsi community. However, destiny ordained otherwise.Dadabhainaoroji was a Parsi Indian political and social leader. He was the first Asian to be amember of British parliament. Naoroji was a prominent figure and play a significant role inIndian national movement.
In 1866, DadabhaiNaoroji founded in London the East Indian Association forpropagating the cause of India. Amongst the British and Indian nationals who joined theassociation was Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee who later became the first President of theINC.
He was the founder of, Indian national congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw
Wacha.His unearthing of colonial economic exploitation is the most important contribution toIndian national movement.
In his book, poverty and unbritish rule in India, he exposes the economic exploitation ofIndia under British rule. He present, drain of wealth theory, which refers to unilateraltransfer of wealth from India to Britain resulting in widespread poverty and severefamines.
The use of word, unbritish, in title of book refers to exploitive nature of British rule inIndia which was not the case in Britain, where it was progressive.Naoroji was an economic critic and his work on economic exploitation gave a boost toIndian national movement and unmasked the real face of imperial rule.
He proposed Indianisation of the bureaucracy, separation of powers of the executiveand judiciary and greater representation of Indians in the House of Commons.Some historians use the term, economic colonialism, for the first phase of Indiannational movement (1885-1905) on the basis on revelations by dadabhainaoroji.