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indian national congress


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Place the cursor on the portraits for the name, year and place they presided. Click on the portraits for details. Works well with Internet Explorer.

Pandit Motilal Nehru (1861-1931) Pandit Motilal Nehru, an eminent lawyer and politician, was born on May 6, 1861. The Nehrus hailed from Kashmir, but had settled in Delhi since the beginning of the eighteenth century. He was elected to preside over the Amritsar Congress (December 1919). He was the only front rank leader to lend his support to non-cooperation at the special Congress at Calcutta in September 1920. He passed away on February 6, 1931 .

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Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928) Lala Lajpat Rai, popularly known as "Punjab Kesari", was born on January 28, 1865 in Jagraon tehsil of the Ludhiana district, Punjab, in a Hindu Aggarwal family. Lajpat Rai's political activity began from 1885 when he joined the Congress session at Allahabad. At the Benares Congress in December 1905, Lajpat Rai seconded a resolution on the boycott of English cloth in a forceful speech. After the advent of Gandhi, Lajpat Rai found a different world of politics, not really much to his liking, especially when he was called upon to preside over the Special Congress Session in Calcutta in 1920. Lajpat Rai was called 'Sher-i-Punjab' (Lion of the Punjab).

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C Vijayaraghavachariar (1852-1944) Salem C. Vijayaraghavachariar, as he was popularly known, was born on June 18, 1852 in an orthodox Vaishnavite Brahmin family at Pon Vilaindha Kalathur, in Chingleput district, Tamil Nadu. When the Indian National Congress was started in 1885 he was one of the special invitees. He was a close associate of A. O. Hume, the founder of the Indian National Congress. The climax of his political career came when in 1920 he was elected to preside over the Indian National Congress Session at Nagpur. The voice of the Lion of South India was stilled when he passed away on April 19, 1944.

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Hakim Ajmal Khan (1863-1927) The ancestors of Hakim Ajmal Khan came to India in the company of Babur. Ajmal Khan was born in 1863 at Delhi into a distinguished family of physicians. In 1921 he was elected President of the Indian National Congress in place of the previously elected President, C. R. Das, who was arrested well before the session started. Heart trouble claimed his life on December 29, 1927.

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Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das (1870 - 1925) Chittaranjan Das, who was endearingly called 'Deshbandhu' (Friend of the country) was born on November 5, 1870 in Calcutta. Deshbandhu was arrested and sentenced to six months' imprisonment for the boycott of the visit of the Prince of Wales (1921). After his release in 1922, he was elected President for the Congress Session at Gaya. Chittaranjan passed away on June 16, 1925 at Darjeeling at the age of 55.

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Maulana Mohammad Ali (1878-1931) Mohammad Ali was born at Rampur in U. P. on December 10, 1878. He was arrested in 1915 for his anti-British writings and remained a political prisoner till December 1919. He founded the National Muslim University known as Jamia Millia Islamia. He died on January 4, 1931.

"... For more than twenty years I have dreamed the dream of a federation, grander, nobler and infinitely more spiritual than the United States of America, and today when many a political Cassandra prophesies a return to the bad old days of Hindu-Muslim dissensions 1 still dream that old dream of "United Faiths of India." - from the Presidential Address - Maulana Mohammad Ali, I.N.C. Session, 1923, Cocanada (Kakinada).

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born at Porbandar in Gujarat on October 2, 1869. Gandhiji's triumph at the Nagpur Session of the Congress was historic. Many of those who had gone to oppose him were converted to his ideology and method of action. After Nagpur he emerged as the undisputed leaders of the Congress and Indian national and he retained that unique position till his death. In 1924 Gandhiji was elected President of the Indian National Congress. On January 30, 1948, he was assassinated by a young Hindu while he was on his way to his prayer meeting in the city of Delhi.

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Mrs Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad on February 13, 1879. She was the eldest of the eight children of Aghorenath Chattopadhyay and Baradasundari. The first volume of her poems "The Golden Threshold" was published in 1905. Sarojini worked with Gandhiji and was elected the president of INC for the Kanpur session in 1925.

Gandhiji said during the occasion " An Indian woman will, for the first time enjoy the highest honour in the gift of the nation. The unique honour will be hers this year as a matter of right". In reply she said ".. In electing me to be the chief among your chosen servants, you have not created a novel precedent. You have only reverted to an old tradition and returned to India woman the classic position she once held …"

She passed away on March 2, 1949

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S Srinivasa lyengar (1874-1941) Srinivasa was born on September 11, 1874 in Ramanathapuram (Ramnad) district, Madras. He actively participated in the Congress sessions from Ahmedabad (1921) to Lahore (1929) and gave an unparalleled lead to the Congress in Madras for about ten years. Srinivasa lyengar presided over the Gauhati session of the Indian National Congress (December 1926). He died suddenly on May 19, at his residence in Madras.

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Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari (1880 - 1936) The ancestors of Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari came to India during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari was born on December 25, 1880. He qualified for M.D. and M.S. in 1905. Dr. Ansari held a high position in the Congress. For almost all through his life he was member of its Working Committee. He was its General Secretary in the years 1920, 1922, 1926, 1929, 1931 and 1932, and President in 1927 (Madras Session). On the night of May 10, 1936 when he was returning from Mussoorie where he had gone to pay a professional visit to the Nawab of Rampur, Dr. Ansari heart beat for the last time and he passed away in the railway compartment.

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Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) Jawaharlal Nehru was born at Allahabad on November 14, 1889, the son of Pandit Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani. When he was only 40 he was elected to preside over the momentous Lahore session of the Congress in 1929. He became the Prime Minister of Independent India. Nehru died on May 27, 1964.

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950) Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, one of the six children of Jhaverbbai Patel and Ladbai was born at Nadiad in Gujarat. There is no record of his date of birth. The generally accepted date, October 31, 1875. In March 1931 Vallabhbhai presided over the 46th session of the Indian National Congress which was called upon to ratify the Gandhi-lrwin Pact, which had just then been concluded. He died on December 15, 1950. He was given the title of "Sardar" by the nation.

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Ranchhodlal Amritlal (?-?) Ranchhodlal Amritlal was elected president for the INC seesion at Delhi on April 24, 1932. The British broke up this meeting and 400 congress party workers were arrested. Ranchhodlal was sentenced to 9 months rigorous imprisonment.

I have not been able to collect any further information about him. Any help in this regard will be most welcome.

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Mrs Nellie Sen Gupta (1886-1973) Daughter of Frederick William and Edith Henrietta Gray, Nellie was born in 1886 at Cambridge, England. When Madan Mohan Malaviya was elected President of the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress 1933 and was arrested, Nellie was chosen as the Congress President. After the partition of India in 1947, she chose to live in East Pakistan. She returned to India for medical treatment, and was treated with great respect by the Indira Gandhi Government. She died in Calcutta in 1973.

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Dr Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963) In an obscure village in the Saran district of North Bihar, Rajendra Prasad was born on December 3, 1884. He was in jail when on January 15, 1934 the devastating earthquake struck Bihar. Though ailing, he set himself immediately to the task of raising funds and organising relief. Nationalist India expressed its admiration by electing him to be the President of the Bombay session of the Indian National congress. His elevation to the Presidentship of the Republic in 1950 came as a matter of course. He passed away on February 28, 1963.

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Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 into the family of a well- to-do lawyer of Cuttack. Subhas first proved his mettle in the thorough manner in which he worked for the total boycott of the Prince of Wales in Calcutta in 1921. He was unanimously elected President of the Haripura Congress Session in 1938. Contrary to the popular notion regarding Jawaharlal Nehru's role in Planning, it was Subhas Bose who, as Congress President in 1938, talked of planning in concrete terms, and set up a National Planning Committee in October that year. He organised the Azad Hind Fauj (the Indian National Army), and become its Supreme Commander on August 25, proclaimed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind on October 21. He was hailed as Netaji by the Army. Netaji was reportedly killed in an air crash over Taipeh, Taiwan (Formosa) on August 18, 1945. However, even Government spokesmen have confessed that there is no 'irrefutable proof' of his death in the air crash.

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