The Indian National Congress is a political party that led the struggle for the independence of India from the British Empire. It formed the mainstay of the Indian nationalist movement and later dominated the country’s government. Founded in 1885 with a base of support chiefly in the upper-class intelligentsia, the Congress originally advocated limited democratic reforms under British rule. As early as 1843 the British India Society was founded in Bengal.
Later, in 1851 Rajendra-lal Mitra and Ram gopal Ghost formed the British Indian Association. At about the same time the Bombay Association was started by Jugg an Nath Sarkar, Dada bhai Naoroji and others. Poona also organized its public life through the Poona Sarvajanin Sabha. In 1876 Surendranath Banerjea founded the Indian Association in Bengal. One of the main objects of Surendranath and the Indian Association was the unification of the people of India on the basis of common political interests and aspirations. The Indian Association at that time used to represent and reflect public opinion from Peshawar to Chittagong.
The time had meanwhile become ripe for the formation of an all-India political organization. At the first National Conference at Calcutta held in 1883 Surendranath Banerjea suggested that an all-India political organization be formed. In fact, while the second National Conference was being held at Calcutta, the Indian National Congress, the first effective all-India political organization, was established at Bombay. The National Conference later merged itself into the Indian National Congress. Beginning in 1905, it called for swaraj, or self-government, and in 1920 it adopted the strategy of Satyagraha (non-violent resistance) devised by Mohandas K. Gandhi, who also widened its support into a true mass movement.
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By 1929, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress was demanding total independence. During World War II it refused to support the British war effort, launching instead a “Quit India” campaign that led to violent confrontations and prison terms for about 100, 000 of its supporters. After India gained independence, in 1947, the Congress controlled the central government and most of the Indian state governments for 20 years. In 1955 it adopted a programme of democratic socialism. The party split in 1969, but the dominant faction (the New Congress Party) remained in office under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Voted out in 1977, it again split; Indira Gandhi’s Congress (I) Party (I for Indira) was again in power from 1980 to 1989, from 1984 under Rajiv Gandhi after his mother Indira’s assassination.
After a brief interim, Congress (I) was returned to power in 1991 under P. V. Narasimha Rao, but was ousted again in 1996 amid public disaffection with party corruption and increasing support for locally based, left-wing reformist parties and the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. After the dissolution of the BJP-led government soon after election, the United Front formed a coalition backed by Congress (I).
Rao resigned as party president in January 1997 and was succeeded by Sitar am K esri. In April Congress withdrew its support for the government, but resumed the collaboration after a change in the coalition leadership.
Six months later Congress once more withdrew its support and in December 1997 the Lok Sabha was dissolved, with elections scheduled for early 1998. In the run-up to the elections Sonia Gandhi made a number of speeches in support of the Congress Party and was seen as the standard-bearer for the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. After an inconclusive general election in early 1998, in which no party attained a parliamentary majority, the BJP formed a new coalition. When the coalition failed in April 1999, Congress was unable to form an alternative government and elections were announced for late 1999. In May Gandhi was elected party president despite her foreign origins and lack of political experience.
If we take for granted the fact that it seems that in international politics, unlike on law, one is guilty until proven differently, the task I chose to present in this term paper becomes extremely difficult. I intend to defend and acquit Turkey's new government with the unfair charges of anti democratic and "Islamic oriented" that some western leaders and have deposited on it. Furthermore, ...
The performance of Congress in the 1999 election was its worst ever since independence, winning only 136 of the 543 elected seats. Gandhi agreed to lead the opposition in the new parliament.