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Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress is one of the major political parties of India, established in 1885 by prominent national lead.
More on Indian National Congress (7 Articles)
Extremists  (2)
 Indian National CongressIndian National Congress (INC) or the Congress party and is one of the major political parties in India. Indian National Congress was established in 1885, on the initiation of A. O. Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. Henceforth, the Indian National Congress became the mentor in the Independence Movement, with over 15 million Indians postulated in its organisations and over 70 million associates in its conflict against the British Empire.

The Congress Party was a moderate reform party until 1917, when it was taken over by its "extremist" home rule wing. In the 1920s and 30s under Gandhji's guidance the congress promoted non-cooperation movement to protest the feebleness of the constitutional reforms of 1919. Congress became nation's dominant political party after the Indian independence in 1947. Presently in the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009), 145 Congress members, the largest congregation amongst all parties, serves in the house. Supported by the Left Front, the party in the present time is the chief member of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition.

The history behind the Indian National Congress can be divided into two parts, namely the pre-independence era (when the party was at the head of struggle in independence) and the post-independence era (when the party enjoyed a prominent place in Indian politics, ruling the country for 48 of the 60 years since independence in 1947).

The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 with the objective of prevailing a bigger share in government for enlightened Indians. Initially, however, it was not established to oppose the British rule. Once a year, the Congress met during the month of December. With the approval of the then-Viceroy, Lord Dufferin, a Scotsman and Allan Octavian Hume, the first meet was held in Mumbai. The first President of INC was Womesh Chandra Bonerjee. As time passed the demands of the Congress became more radical and the party turned very active in the independence movement. Radicalism resulted into division within the party. The Congress was divided into the Garam Dal of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, or Extremists (literally "hot faction"), and the Naram Dal of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, or Moderates (literally "soft faction").

Indian National Congress After Mahatma Gandhi's induction in Congress and his Satyagraha art of revolution, the party grew stronger along with the participations of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (the nation's first Prime Minister), Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the nation's first President), Khan Mohammad Abbas Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Jivatram Kripalani and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Under Gandhi's influence, Congress became the first integrated mass organisation in the country that brought together millions of people by working against caste differences, poverty, untouchability, religious and ethnic boundaries. Movements, like Quit India, remained the most impregnable political and revolutionary upheavals in India without a doubt. The 1929 Lahore session of Congress was held under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru. The session was significant indeed as the goal of INC was declared in the form of "Poorna Swaraj" (complete independence). Gandhi, by now, was considered the leader and a mass icon of the party.

After independence Indian National Congress stayed in power for thirty continuous years till 1977. Mahatma Gandhi was murdered in 1948. Later, in 1950, Sardar Patel also passed away. At this stage Jawaharlal Nehru took charge of the party whilst looking after the nation as well. He took some revolutionary decisions like adopting secularism, socialist economic policies and a non-aligned foreign policy. It became the distinctive characteristic of the modern Congress Party. Nehru led Congress into consecutive awe-inspiring absolute majority in the elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962. After his death in 1964, emptiness engulfed the party. Lal Bahadur Shastri was then chosen to fill in the gap. After him, Indira Gandhi was the preferred choice.

Indian National Congress faced its first serious challenge in 1967, when Samyukt Vidhanayak Dal, won control over various states in the Hindi belt and majority of the party leadership challenged Indira Gandhi. This led to a conflict within the party itself and as a result they split up. Indira Gandhi established a separate Indian National Congress. In the first phase the party was known as Congress (R). But later on it came to be known as the New Congress. And the official Indian National Congress became Indian National Congress (Organisation) led by Kamaraj. Indira Gandhi ultimately became the Prime Minister of India in 1966. In 1975, she proclaimed a state of National emergency. However this led to the constitution of many Congress factions.

After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, her son, Rajiv Gandhi took on as the Congress leader and led the party to victory with a large majority in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections. After Rajiv Gandhi, eminent politicians like P.V. Narasimha Rao (from 1991 to1996) and Manmohan Singh (since 2004) became the Prime Ministers of India. Besides them, the party has witnessed a number of politicians who had devotedly worked to strengthen the organisation further. The illustrious list includes names like Sitaram Kesari, Rajesh Pilot, Ghani Khan Choudhury, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Kalpnath Rai, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ajit Jogi, Rajeev Shukla, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and several others.

Indian National Congress The Congress party has state units with state presidents. In the respective state assemblies the Congressmen choose members of the state legislative assemblies by votes, to form the Congress Legislature Parties. Delegates sent from the Pradesh Congress Committees around the country form the All India Congress Committee. In effect, the President of the Indian National Congress is the party's national leader, head of the organisation, head of the Working Committee and all chief Congress committees, chief spokesmen and the Congress choose to become the Prime Minister of India. In 1975, a merger took place between Sikkim and India. The Sikkim National Congress of Kazi Lendup Dorjee also merged with the Indian National Congress.

The organization developed by Mahatma Gandhi's reorganization of the Indian National Congress in the years of 1918 to 1920 has largely been preserved till today. The President of the Indian National Congress is effective as the party's national leader, head of the organization, head of the Working Committee and all major Indian Congress committees, chief spokesman and the Congress choice to become the Prime Minister of India. Constitutionally, the president is to be elected by the vote of the PCCs and members of the AICC. However, this procedure has often been by-passed by the Working Committee, choosing to elect its own candidate as an emergency appraisal. The Congress Parliamentary Party is the group of elected MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Congress is addressed as one of the most premier political parties of the nation that had witnessed every phase of the creation and development of India.

A list of Congress party presidents would include
Name of President Year of Presidency Name of President Year of Presidency
Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee 1885 S. Srinivasa Iyengar 1926
Dadabhai Naoroji 1886 Dr. M A Ansari 1927
Badruddin Tyabji 1887 Pandit Motilal Nehru 1928
George Yule 1888 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1929-1930
Sir William Wedderburn 1889 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 1931
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta 1890 Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya 1932
P. Anandacharlu 1891 Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya 1933
Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee 1892 Nellie Sengupta 1933
Dadabhai Naoroji 1893 Dr. Rajendra Prasad 1934-1935
Alfred Webb 1894 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1936
Surendranath Banerjea 1895 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1936-1937
Rahimtulla M. Sayani 1896 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose 1938
Sir C. Sankaran Nair 1897 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose 1939
Ananda Mohan Bose 1898 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 1940-1946
Romesh Chunder Dutt 1899 Acharya J.B. Kripalani 1947
Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar 1900 Dr Pattabhi Sitaraimayya 1948-1949
Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha 1901 Purushottam Das Tandon 1950
Surendranath Banerjea 1902 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1951- 1952
Lalmohan Ghosh 1903 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1953
Sir Henry Cotton 1904 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1954
Gopal Krishna Gokhale 1905 U N Dhebar 1955
Dadabhai Naoroji 1906 U N Dhebar 1956
Rashbihari Ghosh 1907 U N Dhebar 1957
Rashbihari Ghosh 1908 U N Dhebar 1958
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya 1909 U N Dhebar 1959
Sir William Wedderburn 1910 Indira Gandhi 1959
Pandit Bishan Narayan Dar 1911 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy 1960
Rao Bahadur Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar 1912 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy 1961
Nawab Syed Muhammad Bahadur 1913 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy 1962-1963
Bhupendra Nath Bose 1914 K. Kamaraj 1964
Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha 1915 K. Kamaraj 1965
Ambica Charan Mazumdar 1916 K. Kamaraj 1966-1967
Annie Besant 1917 S. Nijalingappa 1968
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya 1918 S. Nijalingappa 1969
Syed Hasan Imam 1918 Jagjivan Ram 1970-1971
Pandit Motilal Nehru 1919 Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma 1972-1974
Lala Lajpat Rai 1920 Dev Kant Baruah 1975-1977
C. Vijayaraghavachariar 1920 Indira Gandhi 1978-1983
Hakim Ajmal Khan 1921 Indira Gandhi 1983-1984
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das 1922 Rajiv Gandhi 1985-1991
Maulana Mohammad Ali 1923 P. V. Narasimha Rao 1992-1996
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 1923 Sitaram Kesri 1997-1998
Mahatma Gandhi 1924 Sonia Gandhi 1998-present (2009)
Sarojini Naidu 1925

(Last Updated on : 27/05/2014)
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