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Review: Proceedings of the Indian National Congress

Tracing the evolution of an Indian movement.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2012 05:25 PM IST

Proceedings of the Indian National Congress; Vol1 1885-89
Edited by Mushirul Hasan
Niyogi books
Rs 1599

Held on 28, 29 and 30 December 1885 in Bombay, the first Indian National Congress was a huge event whose participants included the who's who of the time. Though the Congress began with polite requests to the British for reforms, it is clear to the modern reader that the first meeting and the ones that followed in Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad and Bombay once more, were propelled by the nascent yearning for an independent nation. Edited and introduced by eminent historian Mushirul Hasan, this is a handsomely produced tome that traces the early sessions of an organisation that went on to have a great impact on modern India.

Apart from a record of speeches and resolutions, the book also captures "the mental, emotional, and political life of late-nineteenth century India". There are invaluable lists of participants too: No 1519 of the fifth Indian National Congress is Pandit Motilal Nehru, No 1094 is Pandita Ramabai!

Hasan intends to publish the proceedings of subsequent meetings until the year of Independence - an ambitious undertaking that will contribute to an understanding of the evolution of the idea of India and the ideals that continue to invigorate the country.

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