Naoroji Street, WC1X

Place Name

Dadabhai Naoroji (September 4, 1825 – June 30, 1917) was the UK’s first Asian MP to serve for a full Parliament after winning the Finsbury Central seat for the Liberal Party in 1892 (the first, Anglo-Indian MP David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, was disenfranchised for corruption after nine months in office). Naoroji was a major figure in Indian politics known as the Grand Old Man of India and the Unofficial Ambassador of India he was one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India was a milestone in radical political thinking of its time: bringing to the world’s attention that Britain was draining India’s wealth. With no British-Indian voters to rely on, Naoroji fostered and built political alliances with women suffragists, and working-class voters who were demanding action on their economic and social rights. On taking up his seat in the House of Commons, he refused to take the oath on the Bible as he was not a Christian, but was allowed to take the oath of office in the name of God on his copy of Khordeh Avesta. During his time he put his efforts towards improving the situation in India. He had a very clear vision and was an effective communicator. He set forth his views about the situation in India over the course of the history of the governance of the country and the way in which the colonial rulers rule. He was also a notable Freemason. In his political campaign and duties as an MP, he was assisted by Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the future Muslim nationalist and founder of the State of Pakistan. This was previously Insurance Street after Insurance House that was based here.

 

 

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