The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) was an Indian political leader. He is best known today as the first Indian person to be elected to the UK House of Commons, where he served as an M.P. between 1892 and 1895. Naoroji is also one of the co-founders of the Indian National Congress, and was elected its first President in 1886.

In 1876, Naoroji gave a series of lectures for the Bombay Branch of the East India Association, which he published as a pamphlet in 1878. These lectures were an early form of the "drain theory" argument, which he would expand in the more extensive version of the argument presented in 1901 as Poverty and Un-British Rule in India

The lectures that formed the first version of the work, The Poverty of India, are notable in part because they were written just at the onset of the Great Madras Famine of 1876-1878. Many of the economic factors that contributed to the famine are described by Naoroji. 

An extract from The Poverty of India can be found here.

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