Political & Socio-religious Organization before INC

By SATISH KUMAR GUPTA|Updated : November 10th, 2019

Political & Socio-religious Organization before INC (Indian National Congress) is a very important topic in modern history. In every exam which contains general awareness section, there are 2-3 questions asked from this topic.

Political & Socio-religious Organization before INC

Political & Socio-religious 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.


Pre-Congress Socio-Religious Organizations:


Year of formation

Place of operation


Objectives/ Remarks

Atmiya Sabha



Raja Ram Mohan Roy

It was formed to attack social evils of Hinduism and spread of monotheism.

It campaigned against caste rigidities, idol worship, social evils like Sati, etc.

Brahma Samaj



Raja Ram Mohan Roy

The long-term agenda of Brahma Samaj was to purify Hinduism from evils of idolatry, meaningless rituals and to preach monotheism.

Dharma Sabha



Raja Radhakant Deb

To counter the propaganda of Brahma samaj.

Even he was the supporter of ‘Sati System’.

However, it was in favour of the promotion of western education (including women).

Tattvabodhini Sabha



Maharishi Debendranath Tagore

The systematic study of India’s past with rational outlook and to propagate the ideas of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Young Bengal movement/ Derozians



Henry Vivian Derozio

To foster the ideals of equality, fraternity, liberty and freedom; to question all authority; political and social reforms.

Prathna Samaj



Founder: Atmaram Pandurang

Associate: M. G. Ranade, R. G. Bhandarkar and N. G. Chandavarkar

Women education, widow remarriage, denounce caste system and raising the age of marriage for both boys and girls.

Brahma Samaj of India



Keshav Chandra Sen

To promote inter-caste marriages; denounce caste system; assimilate ideas from all religions

Arya Samaj


Earlier Bombay; then shifted to Lahore

Dayanand Saraswati

  • Establish a casteless and classless society in India.
  • It propagated the infallibility of Vedas;
  • Encouraged inter-caste marriages and
  • Widow remarriage;
  • Strongly criticized the Hindu belief system regarding Maya and moksha.

Sadaran Brahma Samaj




After the split of 1878, the disgusted followers of Keshav Chandra Sen established this new organization. It was based on the original ideals of Brahma Samaj.




Karmat Ali Jaunpuri

Based mainly on the teaching of Shah Walimullah movement.

Indian Reform Association



Keshav Chandra Sen

To organize people against child marriage and improve women’s social condition

Satya Sodhak Samaj (Truth seeker’s society)



Jyotibha Phule

Social service; upliftment of women and lower caste by providing them education

Deccan Educational Society



M.G Ranade

Spread of education in Western India

Theosophical Society


(In 1882, headquarters were shifted to Adiyar)

United States

Madame H. P. Blavatsky and M. S. Olcott.

Annie Besant took charge after the death of Olcott.

  • Accepted the Hindu beliefs of incarnation and transmigration of the soul.
  • Aimed to work for the universal brotherhood of humanity without any discrimination based on religion, race, caste, creed or colour.

Seva Sadan



Behramji M. Malabari

This organization took care of exploited and discarded women of society. It was not caste or class specific and was open to all.

Rehnumai Mazdayasnan Sabha (Religious reform Association)



Dada Bhai Naoroji, K. R. Cama, S. S. Bengalee

It was a socio-religious reform movement of Parsis. The main objective of this organization was- upliftment of women, removal of the purdah system, promote western education in the Persian community. It also aimed at restoration of the Zoroastrian religion.


Political & Socio-religious Organization before INC in English

Political & Socio-religious Organization before INC in Hindi

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