A founding father of the Indian National Congress who became known as the ‘Grand Old Man of India’
Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) was a Parsi educated at the same Bombay college as Shapurji Edalji. In 1885, along with Shapurji Edalji’s former classmate Dinshaw Edulji Wacha and others, he founded the Indian National Congress, which later became the leader of the Indian independence movement. His defeat as Liberal candidate in Holborn in the 1886 British general election led Conservative Prime Minister Lord Salisbury to make his notorious comment that ‘however great the progress of mankind has been, and however far we have advanced in overcoming prejudices, I doubt if we have yet got to the point of view where a British constituency would elect a black man’. In 1892 however Naoroji became the first Asian to be elected a member of the British House of Commons. He eventually became known as ‘The Grand Old Man of India’.