Allan Octavian Hume, a limited British Indian civil servant residing in Simla, founded the Indian National Union – predecessor of today’s Indian National Congress – in 1884. To gain support, he visited Calcutta, Bombay and Madras to enlist educated people for participation.
He was an ardent follower of Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghose and actively involved with revolutionary societies.
Founder of the Indian National Congress
Hume was a prominent figure of the Indian nationalist movement and made significant contributions to agrarian reform. His main goal was to abolish zamindari systems and allow peasants to own land; tribal welfare work also fell within his purview, including founding and preside over sessions of Bihar Kisan Sabha which he presided over frequently; additionally, he actively engaged with child marriage restraint agitations campaigns and wrote his autobiographical book entitled ‘Kisan Pran’ which championed their cause.
As one of the leaders of the Revolt of 1857 from East Bengal, Prafulla Chaki became a widely recognized revolutionary. Together with Prafulla Chaki he threw a bomb into Kingsford’s carriage at Muzaffarpur. For years there after he fought against British rule in India.
He was a key member of the Home Rule Movement and eventually led it. Additionally, he joined the Hindustan Ghadar Party in America before traveling to Tibet in order to organize an uprising against British rule. Additionally, in 1905 he acquired and edited The Hindu until his death in 1923.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a social reformer from India who advocated for India’s political claims. A man of great integrity and humility, his contributions ranged from education, women’s rights, societal reform and writing poetry as a prolific poet and writer.
Vidyasagar was born into a modest Brahmin family in Birshingha, District Medinipur and Bengal Presidency on 26 September 1820. He began his education at a village pathhala where he excelled at Sanskrit studies despite the financial limitations of his family, opting to study under street lights at night because they could not afford gas lamps for studying under. His thirst for knowledge was so great that he studied under streetlights because they could not afford gas lamps!
Hume joined the Bengal civil service in 1849, serving as magistrate at Etawah during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58 and later on the Board of Revenue in North Western Provinces. However, his views regarding greater participation of Indians in government caused friction with his superiors which ultimately resulted in him being demoted; his views led to controversy which caused his demotion resulting in him writing an influential book on Agricultural Reforms within India as retaliation; his ideas were revolutionary at their time – truly revolutionary thought by someone challenging orthodox customs of Hindu society!
Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Hume was an avid birder and wrote the definitive text on Indian birds (Nests and eggs of Indian species). In addition, he corresponded with fellow birders in India as well as publishing several articles. Furthermore, he became an authority on Indian hummingbirds as well as making many new identifications of Indian species.
Early in the establishment of the Indian National Congress (INC), he served with the Indian Civil Service as an advocate of India’s political claims. He participated in fighting off Oudh freebooters at Hurchandpur, and bravely engaged Firoz Shah’s armies at Jaswantnagar.
Hume was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress and played an instrumental role in helping draft its constitution. A man of many interests with an impressive intellect, Hume had few friends but was described as tall, stately, and fastidious – known to be both principled yet ambitious when it came to political ambitions he was an effective leader and expert negotiator.
Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Hume’s contributions to the Indian National Congress were immeasurable. He assisted with organizing its inaugural session in Poona and made significant contributions towards its organization, constitution and policies.
Hume was both a civil servant and amateur ornithologist and horticulturist. He maintained close ties with leading ornithologists of his day; he even published several works, like Game Birds and Stray Feathers, that featured reports from all corners of the globe.
As an administrator, he took an innovative stance on numerous issues. For example, he introduced free primary education in Etawah (present-day Uttar Pradesh) and founded Lokmitra newspaper to spread local vernacular content. Furthermore, his opposition to government policies regarding land revenue led him to being demoted from his position in 1879.
Hume’s retirement from civil service saw him devote himself to improving Indian national life, drawing inspiration from correspondence with Mahatmas. Additionally, he contributed to both Theosophical Society (with Hints on Esoteric Theosophy and Fragments of Occult Truth columns in The Theosophist) and Indian Movement for Independence (IMFI).
Ranga Misra founded Samskrita Ranga (also known as Madras Sanskrit Dramatic Society) in 1958 and worked to promote Sanskrit theatre and improve social reform, particularly widow welfare and education. He is often called “the Father of Indian Ornithology”. A British civil servant working from 1849-1882 in India, Ranga Misra also took an active part in supporting India’s Independence Movement and considered one of the founders of Indian National Congress.
He served as magistrate in Etawah during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58 before later moving onto the Board of Revenue of North-Western Provinces. Over time he became increasingly concerned for India’s rural poor, becoming an active advocate.
Hume’s work as an ornithologist was widely recognized, and he soon established himself as one of India’s premier authorities on bird species. He excelled at identifying new species and gave many their common names; additionally he was an accomplished artist and amassed an extensive collection of bird specimens.