Political Associations before the Indian National Congress : History Notes

By Ganesh Mankar|Updated : November 27th, 2021

The Political Associations before the Indian National Congress is part of the history of modern India.  This topic is useful for MPSC State services, Group B, Group C and all types of direct service recruitment. More information about this component is given below.

This article is important for MPSC State Services Exam and MPSC Combined Exam.

Political Associations before the Indian National Congress

Political Associations began to take shape in the first half of the nineteenth century. Initially, they were dominated by the rich and educated intelligentsia. They were not at the pan-India level but regional in their operations. They had general demands like increasing the representation of Indians in administration; to bring out educational and military reforms; to work for the development of modern industries in India; etc. They used to send long petitions to the government in this regard.

Pre-Congress Political organizations in Bengal

Name of Organization

Year of formation


Objectives/ Remarks

Bangabhasaha Prakasika Sabha


Associates of Raja Ram Mohan Roy

  • Promotion of Bengali education and build public opinion
  • Demanded for freedom of press; entry of Indians to higher offices; etc.

Zamindari Association/ Landholders’ Society


Dwarkanath Tagore

  • To safeguard the interests of landlords.
  • Only legal machinery was used to raise their demands.

British India Society*

1839 (England)

William Adam, Friend of Raja Ram Mohan Roy

  • To make general public of England familiar with the condition of Indians.
  • Also used legal machinery to raise their demands.

The Bengal British India Society


George Thomson.

Members included ‘Young Bengal’ group

  • To present the actual condition of people of British India.

British Indian Association



  • It is the merger of Zamindari Association and the Bengal British India Society.
  •  raised many demands like separate legislative council, abolition of stamp duties, etc.

The East India Association*

1866 (London)

Dada Bhai Naoroji

  • Welfare of Indians.
  • To make general public of England familiar with the condition of Indians.
  • It had branches in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.

The Indian League


Sisir Kumar Ghosh

  • Instigate the feelings of nationalism.


The Indian Association of Calcutta (Indian National Association)


Surrendranath Banerjee and Ananda Mohan Bose

  • To unify public opinion on key political issues.
  • Voice was raised for civil services reform.
  • It was later merged with Indian National Congress.

*It was established in England (not in Bengal).

Pre-Congress Political organizations in Bombay and Madras


Year of formation



Bombay Association (Bombay Native Association)


Jagannath Shankersheth, Sir Jamshedji Bhai, Naoroji Fardonji, Dadabhai Naoroji

  •  They used to take up public grievances through constitutional means.

The Poona Sarvajanik Sabha at Pune


Mahadeva Govind Ranade

  • They fought for legal rights of peasants and farmers.
  • Connected common people with the British Government.
  • B. G. Tilak was also a member of this Sabha.

The Bombay Presidency Association


Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozshah Mehta and K. T. Telang

  • It was aimed at opposing Lord Lytton’s policies and the controversial Ilbert Bill.

Madras Native Association


Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty

  •  It was first of such type in Madras.

The Madras Mahajan Sabha


M. Viraraghavachari, B. Subramaniya Aiyer and P. Ananda Charlu

  •  It was formed to oppose government policies through peaceful ways.


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