Sir Surendranath Banerjee was one of the earliest Indian political leaders during the British Rule.
NEW DELHI — The Indian National Congress (INC) paid tributes to its former party president Surendranath Banerjee on Friday.
In a tweet on its official Twitter handle, the party started to pay homage to the former Congress President on his death anniversary.
Calling him as one of the earliest leaders of the party, Congress said that he dedicated his entire life to fighting against discrimination. “His commitment towards a progressive society inspires us even today,” the party said.
Among earliest Indian politicians during the British Rule
During British rule, Sir Surendranath Banerjee was one of the first Indian political leaders. He co-founded the Indian National Association, a nationalist organization through which he and Anandamohan Bose co-led two sessions of the Indian National Conference in 1883 and 1885.
Banerjee eventually rose through the ranks of the Indian National Congress to become a senior member. Surendranath, unlike Congress, opposed the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, and together with many other liberal leaders, he quit Congress and established the Indian National Liberation Federation in 1919.
He was a member of the Indian National Congress’s founding committee. Also, the epithet Rashtraguru is bestowed upon him.
The politics of Surendranath Banerjee
Banerjee returned to India in June 1875 and taught English at the Metropolitan Institution, the Free Church Institution, and Rippon College, which he founded in 1882 and is now Surendranath College.
He began giving public talks on topics like nationalist and liberal politics, as well as Indian history.
On July 26, 1876, he and Anandamohan Bose formed the Indian National Association, one of the first Indian political groups of its sort. He utilized the group to address the issue of the ICS tests’ age limit for Indian students.
In lectures delivered around the country, he denounced the racial prejudice practiced by British officials in India. This, in turn, made him very popular.
Surendranath was a prominent public figure who spoke out against the division of Bengal province in 1905. Banerjee was in the vanguard of the effort, organizing rallies, petitions, and widespread popular support across Bengal and India, forcing the British to reverse the Bengal split in 1912.
Banerjee was a key figure in the Swadeshi movement, which advocated for Indian-made items over imported goods, and his popularity at its peak earned him the title of “uncrowned king of Bengal,” according to supporters.